First Advisor

Betty Izumi

Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Public Health Studies: Pre-clinical Health Science and University Honors


Health Studies




Food supply, High school students -- Nutrition, Obesity -- Epidemiology





The purpose of this exploratory research was to study commercial food environments around high schools in the Portland metropolitan area to explore the question: How do the economic, geographic, and racial demographics of public high schools in the Portland metropolitan area affect the prevalence and make-up of obesogenic commercial food environments surrounding these schools?


Commercial food environments within a 1 km radius of 35 public high schools in the Portland metropolitan area were surveyed. The “healthiness” of the environment was calculated by establishing a “Food Environment Score.” This score was correlated with economic, geographic, and racial demographics obtained from the Oregon Department of Education (2018-2019) and the National Center for Education Statistics (2018) databases.


There were significant relationships between the locale (urban to rural classification) of a school and the Food Environment Score (R2 of 0.1131, p-value of 0.0482) and between the proportion of students who were multiracial and the Food Environment Score (R2 of 0.1116, p-value of 0.0497). There were no statistically significant correlations between other demographic variables and the Food Environment Score.


This exploratory research showed that urban school food environments may be healthier than rural school food environments, possibly due to the greater number of establishments in urban areas. It also showed that schools with greater proportions of multiracial students may have healthier surrounding food environments. However, future ethnographic and survey-based research must be done within schools to further study these observed relationships.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier