Eating and substance use are associated with health issues on college campuses. Like sex and other feel-good things in life, food and psychoactive substances change the way people feel. And, just as food and substances have benefits, they can also lead to health and social problems.

The Centre for Addictions Research of BC (CARBC), Jessie’s Legacy Eating Disorders Prevention Program (JL), and the Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC) invited BC post-secondary institutions to help us think through the issues related to the intersection of substance use and eating in campus settings.

We held four focus groups with campus members, including students, residence staff, health promotion staff and counsellors, to explore the following questions:

  • How do campus members experience their relationships with food and substances and the intersection of these relationships
  • Why do these intersections exist (what is influencing these experiences in the campus environment)?
  • How can campuses be supportive in creating healthier relationships with both food and substances?

The “Healthy Relationships with Food and Substances on Campuses— Framework for Moving Forward” is meant to reflect back what was discussed in the focus groups, and to give others a sense of what was shared. The intent is to use these ideas and observations to help campuses determine how they want to move forward with health promotion in this area and how the partners (CARBC, JL, CMHA BC) can support them.

Contents of the Framework

  • Experiences and Perspectives
  • Influences
  • What Could Be
    • The Big Ideas
    • Ways and Means to Promote Big Ideas
  • Next Steps 

Click “Resource Link” to view the Food and Substance Use Project page and “File Attachment” to download the Framework document.


Join our mailing list to get the latest Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses information.