Food Insecurity among College Students

  •  Bertille Assoumou    
  •  Jennifer Pharr    
  •  Courtney Coughenour    


OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence and determinants of food insecurity among college students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) during the COVID 19 pandemic.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study that collected online survey data from a convenience sample of college students. Setting: UNLV, Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. Participants: 310 UNLV students 18 years of age and older, who were enrolled during the 2020 Fall semester.

RESULTS: A total of 29.4% (n=97) of the study participants were food insecure. Students with a household income greater than $50,000 were 81% less likely to be food insecure (P < 0.01) compared to students with a household income lower than $50,000. Students who reported their general health as good, fair, or poor were 2.19 times more likely to be food insecure (P = 0.02) compared to students who reported their general health as excellent or very good. For each increase in GPA of 1 point, the odds of being food insecure decreased by 58% (P = 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the high prevalence of food insecurity among UNLV students and provides public health professionals and policymakers with the scientific basis to develop interventions and policies aimed at reducing the rates of food insecurity among college students.

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