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Food insecurity among college students in West Texas

Food insecurity among college students in West Texas PurposeFood insecurity is an evolving nutrition issue affecting both developed and underdeveloped college campuses. The purpose of this paper is to assess food insecurity and related coping strategies among Texas Tech University students.Design/methodology/approachThis was a cross-sectional online survey in Lubbock, Texas, among college students (n=173). The outcome measures, socio-demographic factors, household food insecurity access) and dietary diversity were assessed using validated tools. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software. Socio-demographic differences in food security status were examined using χ2, and means testing. Risks of student food insecurity were assessed using odds ratios (ORs).FindingsRespondents were mostly female (70 percent), non-Hispanic white (58 percent) and young adults’ (median age: 22.0 (20.0, 27.0)), with a median monthly income of $1,000 (0.0, 1,500) and spent about a fifth of their income on food. More students were food insecure (59.5 percent) compared to those who experienced food security (40.5 percent) (p<0.001). Some of the severe food insecure students (16.7 percent) reported going to bed without food (6.9 percent) in the prior 30 days. Students with monthly food budgets of ⩽ $200 were 3.2 times more likely to be food insecure (OR=3.231: CI: 1.353–7.714; p=0.010) compared to those with higher food budgets. A students’ choice of priority monthly expenses was significantly associated with food security status; however, further risk assessment of dichotomous “prioritized food” and “prioritized other expenses” was not statistically significant.Originality/valueStudent’s food budget of $200 was the strongest determinant of food insecurity. Individual training on money management and meal planning are recommended. University policies should recognize and develop academic support policies addressing competing expenses with food. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png British Food Journal Emerald Publishing

Food insecurity among college students in West Texas

British Food Journal , Volume 121 (3): 17 – Mar 4, 2019

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0007-070X
DOI
10.1108/BFJ-12-2018-0804
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeFood insecurity is an evolving nutrition issue affecting both developed and underdeveloped college campuses. The purpose of this paper is to assess food insecurity and related coping strategies among Texas Tech University students.Design/methodology/approachThis was a cross-sectional online survey in Lubbock, Texas, among college students (n=173). The outcome measures, socio-demographic factors, household food insecurity access) and dietary diversity were assessed using validated tools. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS software. Socio-demographic differences in food security status were examined using χ2, and means testing. Risks of student food insecurity were assessed using odds ratios (ORs).FindingsRespondents were mostly female (70 percent), non-Hispanic white (58 percent) and young adults’ (median age: 22.0 (20.0, 27.0)), with a median monthly income of $1,000 (0.0, 1,500) and spent about a fifth of their income on food. More students were food insecure (59.5 percent) compared to those who experienced food security (40.5 percent) (p<0.001). Some of the severe food insecure students (16.7 percent) reported going to bed without food (6.9 percent) in the prior 30 days. Students with monthly food budgets of ⩽ $200 were 3.2 times more likely to be food insecure (OR=3.231: CI: 1.353–7.714; p=0.010) compared to those with higher food budgets. A students’ choice of priority monthly expenses was significantly associated with food security status; however, further risk assessment of dichotomous “prioritized food” and “prioritized other expenses” was not statistically significant.Originality/valueStudent’s food budget of $200 was the strongest determinant of food insecurity. Individual training on money management and meal planning are recommended. University policies should recognize and develop academic support policies addressing competing expenses with food.

Journal

British Food JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 4, 2019

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