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Assessment of Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle on Campus Environment in a University Setting as Perceived by Students Using the Innovative Photo Voice Method, a Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle (HEAL) Study

Assessment of Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle on Campus Environment in a University Setting as Perceived by Students Using the Innovative Photo Voice Method, a Healthy Eating and Active Lifestyle (HEAL) Study

Iftikhar Alam1*, Muhammad Ali2 and Muhammad Farooq3*

1Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Bacha Khan University Charsadda, Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 2Institute of Biotechnology and Microbiology, Bacha Khan University Charsadda, Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 3College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest AandF University, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, PR China.

 
*Correspondence | Iftikhar Alam and Muhammad Farooq, Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Bacha Khan University Charsadda, Charsadda, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; College of Food Science and Engineering, Northwest AandF University, Yangling, Shaanxi, 712100, PR China; Emails: iftikharalam@bkuc.edu.pk, farooq.fst28@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Healthy workplace environment is gaining enormous attention of the researchers. Food and lifestyle are main characteristics of a healthy workplace environment. Taken in this meaning, the food environment of the university has great implications on overall health of students. However, little is known about how university students perceive food and lifestyle environment. This study was aimed to connect student participants in a photovoice action study design in university settings to identify themes of healthy eating and lifestyle environment. This study used action-research design with photovoice-elicitation technique engaging students of different age categories, both male and female, from a variety of study disciplines at Bacha Khan University, Charsadda, KPK, Pakistan. Data on food and physical activity were collected using a set of food and lifestyle photos, which were intended to describe various situations of on-campus food and active lifestyle environment. Students identified support and barriers for healthy eating. They also identified barriers and support for active lifestyle on campus. The support and barriers identified by students coded under themes of food and active lifestyle environment. Themes related to nutrition and food were: self-cooking; convenience of fruits/vegetables; clean water unavailability; poor/low food quality; high food prices; low food diversity and restricted food environment. Themes related to physical activity were limited physical activity (PA) resources; lack of programmed PA and limited knowledge/awareness support. Participants were very contented with photo-elicitation stimulated discussions. Using these photos, students were able to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits. Photo elicitation is an effective technique to engage participants to define food environment, and the related supports and barriers of a food and lifestyle environment.

 

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Journal of Innovative Sciences

June

Vol. 8, Iss. 1, Pages 1-145

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