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Prevalence of food insecurity and satisfaction with on-campus food choices among Australian university students


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Murray, S ORCID: 0000-0002-2261-7840, Peterson, C ORCID: 0000-0002-5678-1788, Primo Perez, C ORCID: 0000-0001-8619-1036, Elliott, C, Otlowski, M ORCID: 0000-0003-4707-4325, Auckland, S ORCID: 0000-0001-7972-0227 and Kent, K ORCID: 0000-0002-5330-7044 2021 , 'Prevalence of food insecurity and satisfaction with on-campus food choices among Australian university students' , International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education , doi: 10.1108/IJSHE-09-2020-0348.

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Purpose: Food insecurity and poor access to healthy food is known to compromise tertiarystudies in university students, and food choices are linked to student perceptions of thecampus food environment. This study aims to describe the prevalence, demographic andeducation characteristics associated with food insecurity in a sample of Australian universitystudents, and their satisfaction with on-campus food choices.Design/methodology/approach: An online, cross-sectional survey conducted as part of the biannual sustainability themed survey was conducted at the University of Tasmania in March2020. A single-item measure was used to assess food insecurity in addition to sixdemographic and education characteristics, and four questions about the availability of food,affordable food, sustainable food and local food on campus.Findings: Survey data (n=1,858) were analysed using bivariate analyses and multivariatebinary logistic regression. Thirty-eight percent of respondents (70% female; 80% domesticstudent; 42% aged 18-24 years) were food insecure. Overall, 41% of students were satisfiedwith the food available on campus. Nearly half (47%) of food insecure students weredissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the availability of affordable food on campus. A minorityof students were satisfied with the availability of sustainable food (37%) and local food(33%) on campus.Originality: These findings demonstrate a high prevalence of food insecurity and deficits inthe university food environment, which can inform the development of strategies to improvethe food available on campus, including affordable, sustainable, and local options.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Murray, S and Peterson, C and Primo Perez, C and Elliott, C and Otlowski, M and Auckland, S and Kent, K
Keywords: food security, food insecurity, university students, college students, campus food environment, sustainable food
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN: 1467-6370
DOI / ID Number: 10.1108/IJSHE-09-2020-0348
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© Emerald Publishing Limited

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