03 Nov Many College Students Struggle with Food Insecurity
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Meg Bruening, PhD, MPH, RD
Arizona State University
School of Nutrition and Health Promotion
College of Health Solutions
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Bruening: Food insecurity is understudied in college populations, particularly college freshmen. We saw that over 1/3 of our population of freshmen living in dorms reported inconsistent access to healthy foods. Students who were food insecure reported higher odds of anxiety and depression (by almost 3-fold), and were less likely to eat breakfast and eat home cooked meals.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Bruening: You might be surprised at who is struggling with access to food. Clinicians should be screening for food insecurity among all populations (see recent recommendations for pediatric populations) and making sure that students are connected to all of the resources that are available to them.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Bruening: We need a national study examine food insecurity in college students to get a better understanding of how severe the problem is across campuses. We need longitudinal studies that examine the relationship of food insecurity and health in college students (and all populations): what are the long-term effects of food insecurity in college students?
Abstract presented at the 2015 American Public Health Association meeting:
Food insecurity in post-secondary settings: Why are one in three students food insecure?
Stephanie Nelson, DTR, Meg Bruening, PhD, MPH, RD and Melissa N. Laska, PhD, MPH, RD
Meg Bruening, PhD, MPH, RD (2015). Many College Students Struggle with Food Insecurity