UBC Graduate Research

Diet and Mental Wellbeing : Within a biopsychosocial framework and a planetary health rationale Rossa-Roccor, Verena


This project employed a community-cation oriented research framework and included stakeholders from the University of British Columbia (UBC) throughout the entire research process. The stakeholder group was comprised of staff members and management from UBC Student Housing and Hospitality Services (first and foremost UBC Food Services), UBC Wellbeing, UBC Sustainability. Relevant to the stakeholder audience at UBC in particular, this study describes trends of dietary choices and behaviours as well as mental health and wellbeing in the university’s undergraduate student population. This study further addresses a gap in the research literature by assessing whether plant-based diets are associated with mental health and wellbeing in a population of young adults under careful consideration of a biopsychosocial framework that is nested within the idea of planetary boundaries thus linking human health to the health of the planet. The purpose of this project is to integrate the specific findings of the study into a broader understanding of what constitutes a sustainable and healthy food system on campus. Based on stakeholders’ and researchers’ subject expertise, an extensive literature review and the specific findings of this study, this report provides actionable recommendations on diet and mental wellbeing in students while applying a sustainability lens. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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