The Prevalence, Correlates, and Academic Consequences of Food Insecurity among University of Oregon Students
Kashuba, Kiara Elle
MetadataShow full item record
Kashuba, Kiara Elle
Studies are emerging across the United States indicating that college students experience food insecurity—the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods needed to live a healthy and active life—at a rate well above the national average, which may adversely affect academic success and students’ overall mental and physical wellbeing. This study aims to contribute to this growing field of literature by exploring how the issue of student food insecurity takes shape at the University of Oregon The present study investigated the prevalence of food insecurity among University of Oregon students (n = 1,236), the correlation between food insecurity and various demographic indicators, and how food insecurity may impact academic performance. It employed a self-administered, cross-sectional online survey, utilizing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s six-item Short Form Food Security Survey Module and various student self-reported demographic variables Results indicate that 52% of the students in the overall sample were classified as food insecure after the sample data were weighted to approximate the gender, race/ethnicity, and degree level (undergraduate versus graduate) of the UO student population. Students at higher risk of food insecurity included those who reported being Hispanic or Latinx, international, LGBTQ, and first-generation college students (p = 0.05), and black/African American students (p = 0.10). Food insecurity was found to be significantly associated with a lower GPA (p < 0.01). Furthermore, food insecure students were significantly more likely to report that problems accessing enough food caused them to miss and drop classes, miss study sessions and club meetings, opt to not join extracurricular activities, not buy textbooks (p < 0.01), and put them at risk of not graduating in four years (p = 0.05). As with other studies in this area, this study is subject to the limitation of response bias.