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Article

Food Insecure College Students and Objective Measurements of Their Unused Meal Plans

1
College of Nursing, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209, USA
2
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
3
College of Health Soultions, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
4
Department of Sociology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(4), 904; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040904
Received: 1 April 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 23 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Intake and Eating Patterns in College Students)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: food insecurity; college; university; students; freshmen; meal plans; dining halls food insecurity; college; university; students; freshmen; meal plans; dining halls
MDPI and ACS Style

van Woerden, I.; Hruschka, D.; Vega-Lόpez, S.; Schaefer, D.R.; Adams, M.; Bruening, M. Food Insecure College Students and Objective Measurements of Their Unused Meal Plans. Nutrients 2019, 11, 904. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040904

AMA Style

van Woerden I, Hruschka D, Vega-Lόpez S, Schaefer DR, Adams M, Bruening M. Food Insecure College Students and Objective Measurements of Their Unused Meal Plans. Nutrients. 2019; 11(4):904. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040904

Chicago/Turabian Style

van Woerden, Irene; Hruschka, Daniel; Vega-Lόpez, Sonia; Schaefer, David R.; Adams, Marc; Bruening, Meg. 2019. "Food Insecure College Students and Objective Measurements of Their Unused Meal Plans" Nutrients 11, no. 4: 904. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11040904

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