Research Article| Volume 48, ISSUE 6, P376-382.e1, June 2016

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The Prevalence of Food Security and Insecurity Among Illinois University Students

Published:April 22, 2016DOI:



      This study aims to define the food security status of Illinois university students and whether sociodemographic characteristics are related to that status.


      A cross-sectional research design was used to analyze the food security status of undergraduate Illinois university students, employing a survey containing the Household Food Security Survey Module that was distributed via e-mail to student participants.


      Four public Illinois universities were highlighted, including Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University, and Western Illinois University.


      A total of 1,882 undergraduate students participated in the research study in April, 2013.

      Main Outcome Measure

      Variables include food security status and sociodemographic characteristics such as age, sex, race, and academic standing.


      Statistical analysis included frequencies and chi-square tests.


      The percentage of student respondents in the total sample who were considered food insecure was 35.0%. There were significant relationships between food security status and sociodemographic variables including race, grade point average, loan use, and living location.

      Conclusions and Implications

      This study suggests that 35% of respondents were food insecure based on quantitative assessment. Understanding the significant relationship between food security status and race, grade point average, loan use, and living location may be useful in developing services for those in need.

      Key Words

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      Linked Article

      • The Prevalence of Food Security and Insecurity Among Illinois University Students: Reporting the Strength of Association
        Journal of Nutrition Education and BehaviorVol. 48Issue 9
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          We were interested to read the article by Morris and colleagues1 published in the Journal. The authors aimed to estimate the prevalence of the food security status of Illinois university students and to evaluate the association between sociodemographic characteristics and food security status. Their study demonstrated that the prevalence of food insecurity was 35.0% and that there were a significant association between sociodemographic characteristics including race, grade point average, loan use, and living location and food-insecure status.
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