Food insecure college students and objective measurements of their unused meal plans

Irene Van Woerden, Daniel Hruschka, Sonia Vega-Lopez, David R. Schaefer, Marc Adams, Meredith Bruening

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some researchers have proposed the prevalence of food insecurity among college students is high due to students’ meal plans providing insufficient meals. The association between college students’ food security status and their meal plans have not yet been examined. In this study, United States (US) first year college students (N = 534) self-reported their food security status in the Fall 2015 and/or Spring 2016 semester(s). Objective measures of students’ meal plans were obtained from the university. Logistic generalized estimating equations (GEEs) were used to determine if students’ meal plan, and meal plan use, predicted food insecurity. Linear GEEs were used to examine several potential reasons for lower meal plan use. We found that students did not use all of their available meals. Compared to students on the most expensive (unlimited) meal plan, students on the cheapest (8 meals/week) meal plan were the most likely to report food insecurity (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.2, 4.1). However, in the Fall semester, 26% of students on unlimited meal plans also reported food insecurity. For students on the 180 meals/semester meal plan, food insecurity was associated with using fewer meals (OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.8, 1.0). Students who worked tended to use their meal plan less (β = −1.3, 95% CI = −2.3, −0.3). Students are reporting food insecurity while having meals left in their meal plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number904
JournalNutrients
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2019

Fingerprint

college students
Meals
students
food security
Students
Food
Food Supply
researchers

Keywords

  • College
  • Dining halls
  • Food insecurity
  • Freshmen
  • Meal plans
  • Students
  • University

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Food insecure college students and objective measurements of their unused meal plans. / Van Woerden, Irene; Hruschka, Daniel; Vega-Lopez, Sonia; Schaefer, David R.; Adams, Marc; Bruening, Meredith.

In: Nutrients, Vol. 11, No. 4, 904, 01.04.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{d41b8de6f5cb42f789c337ced434b0a5,
title = "Food insecure college students and objective measurements of their unused meal plans",
abstract = "Some researchers have proposed the prevalence of food insecurity among college students is high due to students’ meal plans providing insufficient meals. The association between college students’ food security status and their meal plans have not yet been examined. In this study, United States (US) first year college students (N = 534) self-reported their food security status in the Fall 2015 and/or Spring 2016 semester(s). Objective measures of students’ meal plans were obtained from the university. Logistic generalized estimating equations (GEEs) were used to determine if students’ meal plan, and meal plan use, predicted food insecurity. Linear GEEs were used to examine several potential reasons for lower meal plan use. We found that students did not use all of their available meals. Compared to students on the most expensive (unlimited) meal plan, students on the cheapest (8 meals/week) meal plan were the most likely to report food insecurity (OR = 2.2, 95{\%} CI = 1.2, 4.1). However, in the Fall semester, 26{\%} of students on unlimited meal plans also reported food insecurity. For students on the 180 meals/semester meal plan, food insecurity was associated with using fewer meals (OR = 0.9, 95{\%} CI = 0.8, 1.0). Students who worked tended to use their meal plan less (β = −1.3, 95{\%} CI = −2.3, −0.3). Students are reporting food insecurity while having meals left in their meal plan.",
keywords = "College, Dining halls, Food insecurity, Freshmen, Meal plans, Students, University",
author = "{Van Woerden}, Irene and Daniel Hruschka and Sonia Vega-Lopez and Schaefer, {David R.} and Marc Adams and Meredith Bruening",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3390/nu11040904",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "11",
journal = "Nutrients",
issn = "2072-6643",
publisher = "Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Food insecure college students and objective measurements of their unused meal plans

AU - Van Woerden, Irene

AU - Hruschka, Daniel

AU - Vega-Lopez, Sonia

AU - Schaefer, David R.

AU - Adams, Marc

AU - Bruening, Meredith

PY - 2019/4/1

Y1 - 2019/4/1

N2 - Some researchers have proposed the prevalence of food insecurity among college students is high due to students’ meal plans providing insufficient meals. The association between college students’ food security status and their meal plans have not yet been examined. In this study, United States (US) first year college students (N = 534) self-reported their food security status in the Fall 2015 and/or Spring 2016 semester(s). Objective measures of students’ meal plans were obtained from the university. Logistic generalized estimating equations (GEEs) were used to determine if students’ meal plan, and meal plan use, predicted food insecurity. Linear GEEs were used to examine several potential reasons for lower meal plan use. We found that students did not use all of their available meals. Compared to students on the most expensive (unlimited) meal plan, students on the cheapest (8 meals/week) meal plan were the most likely to report food insecurity (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.2, 4.1). However, in the Fall semester, 26% of students on unlimited meal plans also reported food insecurity. For students on the 180 meals/semester meal plan, food insecurity was associated with using fewer meals (OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.8, 1.0). Students who worked tended to use their meal plan less (β = −1.3, 95% CI = −2.3, −0.3). Students are reporting food insecurity while having meals left in their meal plan.

AB - Some researchers have proposed the prevalence of food insecurity among college students is high due to students’ meal plans providing insufficient meals. The association between college students’ food security status and their meal plans have not yet been examined. In this study, United States (US) first year college students (N = 534) self-reported their food security status in the Fall 2015 and/or Spring 2016 semester(s). Objective measures of students’ meal plans were obtained from the university. Logistic generalized estimating equations (GEEs) were used to determine if students’ meal plan, and meal plan use, predicted food insecurity. Linear GEEs were used to examine several potential reasons for lower meal plan use. We found that students did not use all of their available meals. Compared to students on the most expensive (unlimited) meal plan, students on the cheapest (8 meals/week) meal plan were the most likely to report food insecurity (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.2, 4.1). However, in the Fall semester, 26% of students on unlimited meal plans also reported food insecurity. For students on the 180 meals/semester meal plan, food insecurity was associated with using fewer meals (OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.8, 1.0). Students who worked tended to use their meal plan less (β = −1.3, 95% CI = −2.3, −0.3). Students are reporting food insecurity while having meals left in their meal plan.

KW - College

KW - Dining halls

KW - Food insecurity

KW - Freshmen

KW - Meal plans

KW - Students

KW - University

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065339029&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85065339029&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3390/nu11040904

DO - 10.3390/nu11040904

M3 - Article

C2 - 31018554

AN - SCOPUS:85065339029

VL - 11

JO - Nutrients

JF - Nutrients

SN - 2072-6643

IS - 4

M1 - 904

ER -