UBC Undergraduate Research

Healthy & sustainable snacks Chan, Gwendalen; Law, Stephanie; Leung, Carol; Liu, Tina; Singer, Amanda


Snack foods are frequently associated with an unhealthy and unsustainable image because they are often highly processed and packaged for convenience. The 2013 Healthy and Sustainable Snacks Food System Project of LFS 450 aims to develop an action plan for implementing healthy and sustainable snacks for the community at University of British Columbia (UBC). It was determined that the UBC food outlets considered the most successful in promoting healthy and sustainable snacks include: the Loop Café, Point Grill, and Place Vanier dining hall. The outlets that require the most improvement include: IRC Snack Bar, Neville’s Café and Reboot Café. By doing a first impressions observational survey, we determined what was successful for promoting healthy and sustainable snacks among the chosen outlets. Areas that were identified include: snack availability, pricing, signage visibility, and ambience. Moreover, we gauged the campus community opinion by performing interviews. Using results from the first impressions survey, it was found that successful outlets had clear signage, well displayed healthy options, and an inviting dining environment. The interviews revealed that the UBC community believes healthy and sustainable options are often more expensive. Furthermore, many expressed that food choices from UBC food outlets are expensive and limited in variety. Therefore, many opted to go to other places on campus. Through this project, we discovered that healthy and sustainable snack options are abundant at UBC food outlets, but promotion is lacking. To resolve this issue, we present both short and long term solutions. In the short term, outlets can improve by matching the price of healthy and sustainable snack foods with the mainstream alternatives, and ensure all products have visible signage. Long term suggestions include an outline for the implementation of a yogurt and fresh produce smoothie station as well as a greater variety of fresh fruits. 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.”

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada