Research Brief| Volume 51, ISSUE 3, P357-363, March 2019

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Very Low Food Security Status is Related to Lower Cooking Self-Efficacy and Less Frequent Food Preparation Behaviors Among College Students

Published:December 08, 2018DOI:



      Investigate the relationships between food security status and cooking self-efficacy and food preparation behaviors among college students.


      Students living off campus while attending the University of Alabama completed an online survey between February and April 2016. Food security status was assessed using the Adult Food Security Survey Module. Cooking self-efficacy and food preparation behaviors were assessed using validated questionnaires. Multiple regression analysis was used to test for significant differences in cooking self-efficacy and food preparation scores by food security status.


      Among respondents (n = 368), 38.3% were food insecure. Very low food secure students had significantly lower cooking self-efficacy scores and food preparation scores than food secure students (P = .001).

      Conclusions and Implications

      Preparing meals at home is less common for very low food secure students, and these students demonstrate less confidence in cooking ability. Further study of food-related decisions and trade-offs under resource constraints are needed.

      Key Words

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