Presentation Title

The Motives Behind College Students’ Snack Choices

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 260

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Abstract

Snacking is one factor that has led to an overall increase in energy imbalance among college students. Grab-and-go snacks such as vending machine snacks become a primary source for college students and are prevalent on several campuses; however, most items sold in vending machines are considered unhealthy snacks. This study focuses on the motives behind college students’ snack choices and investigates the reasons they pick certain snacks. We administered a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) survey, which was designed using a block fractional factorial design, to 130 undergraduate students. With the DCE, we constructed several hypothetical snack choices, each of which featured a combination of four snack attributes, including price, convenience, taste, and healthiness. The prices were set at “$1.25,” “$2.50,” or “$3.75.” Convenience (times to get snack) was categorized as “1 minute,” “3 minutes,” or “5 minutes or more.” Taste was described as “sufficient,” “good,” or “very good.” Healthiness was labeled as “unhealthy,” “neutral,” or “healthy.” The data was analyzed using the multinomial logit model. The results indicated that college students choose snacks primarily based on healthiness (Odds Ratio [OR] 6.209; 95% confidence interval [CI] 5.435-7.093), followed by price (OR 0.452; CI 0.403-0.506), taste (OR 1.565; CI 1.403-1.746), and convenience (OR 0.717; CI 0.642-0.801), respectively. The findings suggest that changing the composition of nutritional snacks in the vending machines, while still pleasing students with their relatively cheap and quick tasty snacks, could create a healthy food environment on campus, thus ultimately improving college students’ snacking choices and behaviors.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Nov 12th, 10:30 AM Nov 12th, 10:45 AM

The Motives Behind College Students’ Snack Choices

HUB 260

Snacking is one factor that has led to an overall increase in energy imbalance among college students. Grab-and-go snacks such as vending machine snacks become a primary source for college students and are prevalent on several campuses; however, most items sold in vending machines are considered unhealthy snacks. This study focuses on the motives behind college students’ snack choices and investigates the reasons they pick certain snacks. We administered a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE) survey, which was designed using a block fractional factorial design, to 130 undergraduate students. With the DCE, we constructed several hypothetical snack choices, each of which featured a combination of four snack attributes, including price, convenience, taste, and healthiness. The prices were set at “$1.25,” “$2.50,” or “$3.75.” Convenience (times to get snack) was categorized as “1 minute,” “3 minutes,” or “5 minutes or more.” Taste was described as “sufficient,” “good,” or “very good.” Healthiness was labeled as “unhealthy,” “neutral,” or “healthy.” The data was analyzed using the multinomial logit model. The results indicated that college students choose snacks primarily based on healthiness (Odds Ratio [OR] 6.209; 95% confidence interval [CI] 5.435-7.093), followed by price (OR 0.452; CI 0.403-0.506), taste (OR 1.565; CI 1.403-1.746), and convenience (OR 0.717; CI 0.642-0.801), respectively. The findings suggest that changing the composition of nutritional snacks in the vending machines, while still pleasing students with their relatively cheap and quick tasty snacks, could create a healthy food environment on campus, thus ultimately improving college students’ snacking choices and behaviors.