Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nutrition and Food Systems (MSNFS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Dietetics and Human Nutrition

First Advisor

Dr. Alison Gustafson


The school food environment has the ability to increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables in rural adolescents. This study used a survey to allow adolescents in seven rural counties to self-report their fruit and vegetable intake as well as utilizing the USDA Mathematica tool and the School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study audits to evaluate what food and beverage products were actually available to adolescents. By using these two measures, associations between fruit and vegetable intake and availability of healthy and unhealthy foods were determined. The availability of healthy snacks and beverages was found to be associated with sugar-sweetened beverage intake in adolescents (p < 0.001); the availability of unhealthy snacks and beverages was associated with fruit and vegetable intake in adolescents (p < 0.001); the school marketing of water bottle stations and/or water dispenser availability was associated with sugar- sweetened beverage intake in adolescents (p < 0.001). Increasing the availability and school marketing of healthy foods and beverages in rural schools may be an effective way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption in adolescents.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)