UBC Undergraduate Research

UBC Food Services : Increasing Food Skills in Residence Cvoric, Stefan; Fan, Jenna; Gibbard, Marissa; Lentz, Britney; Moore, Kelsey; Nguyen, Lan


This intervention aimed to improve nutritional well being among students at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The target population was upper year students living in Walter Gage Residence (Gage) at UBC in Vancouver. The intervention was originally proposed by Melissa Baker, Manager, Nutrition and Wellbeing for UBC’s Student Housing & Hospitality Services and Katherine MacGregor, Residence Life Manager (RLM) of Gage. This project used Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) to assist in achieving the main objective of this intervention which was to create an instructional manual for residence advisors (RAs) to facilitate community kitchens (CKs) in Gage that improved attendees’ cooking capability, while building community. Prior to beginning work on the project, a literature review was conducted to assess levels of food insecurity amongst university students, and to gain insight into effective interventions and programs of interest to the target population. Primary research (interviews) was conducted to assess the current level of food skills and knowledge of Gage residents. We found a combination of environmental, interpersonal and individual aspects that facilitate and mediate students’ food choices, and despite limited research, food insecurity among university students is present, and there is a need for increased food knowledge and skills in this population (Melissa Baker, personal communication, January 24, 2018). Project outputs consisted of a CK manual to aid RAs in running CK programs in Gage and a post-intervention survey to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention in increasing cooking confidence. The manual and survey will be passed along to community stakeholders for further analysis and used for expansion of this intervention to other residences. 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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