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Publically Funded Recreation Facilities: Obesogenic Environments for Children and Families?
School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education, University of Victoria, PO BOX 3015, STN CSC, Victoria, BC V8W 3P1, Canada
Department of Geography, University of Victoria, SSM, B203, 3800 Finnerty Road (Ring Road) Victoria, BC V8P 5C2, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 March 2010; in revised form: 25 April 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 4 May 2010
Abstract: Increasing healthy food options in public venues, including recreational facilities, is a health priority. The purpose of this study was to describe the public recreation food environment in British Columbia, Canada using a sequential explanatory mixed methods design. Facility audits assessed policy, programs, vending, concessions, fundraising, staff meetings and events. Focus groups addressed context and issues related to action. Eighty-eighty percent of facilities had no policy governing food sold or provided for children/youth programs. Sixty-eight percent of vending snacks were chocolate bars and chips while 57% of beverages were sugar sweetened. User group fundraisers held at the recreation facilities also sold ‘unhealthy’ foods. Forty-two percent of recreation facilities reported providing user-pay programs that educated the public about healthy eating. Contracts, economics, lack of resources and knowledge and motivation of staff and patrons were barriers to change. Recreation food environments were obesogenic but stakeholders were interested in change. Technical support, resources and education are needed.
Keywords: public recreation facilities; food environment; healthy eating; nutrition policy
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Naylor, P.-J.; Bridgewater, L.; Purcell, M.; Ostry, A.; Wekken, S.V. Publically Funded Recreation Facilities: Obesogenic Environments for Children and Families? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 2208-2221.
Naylor P-J, Bridgewater L, Purcell M, Ostry A, Wekken SV. Publically Funded Recreation Facilities: Obesogenic Environments for Children and Families? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2010; 7(5):2208-2221.
Naylor, Patti-Jean; Bridgewater, Laura; Purcell, Megan; Ostry, Aleck; Wekken, Suzanne Vander. 2010. "Publically Funded Recreation Facilities: Obesogenic Environments for Children and Families?" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 7, no. 5: 2208-2221.