We utilized a validated food inventory questionnaire to assess the types and quality of food available at a homeless youth drop-in center.
Scores for 13 food categories were computed; higher scores indicated a greater availability of foods found in that category. A summative score was computed to assess the presence of obesogenic foods.
Dry cereal, vegetables, and meat, were the most available foods; 83.3%, 60.9%, and 56.3% of food items in each category, respectively, were available. The food categories with least available items included candy and dairy: 26.6% and 25.4% of items in those categories, respectively. Mean obesogenic food availability score was 31 ± 4.2 (range 23–34), out of a possible score of 71.
Conclusions and Implications
It is possible for a drop-in center to provide healthful foods to homeless youth. Further studies examining the extent to which drop-in centers contribute to the homeless youth food environment are warranted.
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Published online: September 29, 2018
Accepted: August 15, 2018
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: The authors have not stated any conflicts of interest.
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