Factors Associated with Food Insecurity and Food Assistance Program Participation among University Students
Background and Significance: Food insecurity is an emerging issue among college students. It impacts the lives of many university students due to financial reasons. There is limited information about factors that affect food insecurity in that population. This cross-sectional study aimed to examine factors associated with food insecurity and food assistance program participation among college students. Methods: Food security status was determined using the short form of the USDA’s Food Security Survey Module. Results: Out of 116 students, 50 students (43.1%) were food insecure. Food insecurity was inversely associated with self-reported cumulative grade point averages. Only 24% of food insecure students participated in food assistance programs. Students who were involved in campus activities were significantly more likely to participate in food assistance programs. University-level policies and programs that help students combat food insecurity need to be considered. Conclusion: The inverse association between food insecurity and academic success indicates the importance of addressing food insecurity issues to foster their academic and professional success among university students. More research on strategies for promoting food assistance programs to college students is warranted. © 2018 Californian Journal of Health Promotion. All rights reserved.