Food Insecurity on LLU Campus and the Awareness of Resources Available
Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Research Reports 2021
Background: The prevalence of food insecurity (FI) on college campuses in the United States was 41% in 2018. However, most studies focus on undergraduate students on public college campuses. Food insecurity has been shown to lead to poor sleep, higher BMI, worse academic outcomes, poor mental health, less physical activity, and the consumption of less fruits and vegetables than their food secure peers.
Objective: The purpose of this graduate student research study was to determine the prevalence of food insecurity among students at LLU (a private and predominately graduate university) and their awareness of local food resources.
Methods: Emails were sent to the eight schools of current Loma Linda University students with a request for them to complete an anonymous survey (Qualtrics). Out of the 5,000 possible participants, 239 students from seven schools, ages 18-59, participated in the survey. Participants answered 21 multiple choice questions, 4 free response questions, and 2 Likert scale response questions that took approximately 5-10 minutes to complete.
Results: According to the USDA’s US Food Security Survey Module: Six Item-Short Form, 61.09% of participants were categorized as having “high food security,” 17.15% were categorized as having “low food security,” and 21.76% were categorized as having “very low food security.” Chi square test of independence showed a significant association between Food Security Survey Score and variables BMI, race, highest obtained degree, and annual income 1 (P=0.002, P=0.002, P=0.011, P=0.004, respectively). One way ANOVA showed significant differences in GPA among different survey scores (p=0.031) and post hoc (LSD) test showed participants with “very low food security” had significantly lower GPAs than participants with “high food security.” Students were asked to prioritize their personal spending and ranked the categories from 1 to 7 (housing, tuition, food, clothes, transportation, personal spending, and other). Many of the students reported their highest three priorities were housing, tuition, and food, respectively. The two lowest priorities were personal spending and other. When participants were asked how food was prioritized in their budget, 30% of the students ranked food as their number one spending priority, 31% ranked food as their second priority, 24% of students ranked food as their third priority, and no students ranked food as their sixth or seventh priority.
Conclusion: The findings our research highlight both the prevalence of food insecurity and the awareness of food resources in the LLU student population, which reveals the need to address FI to maximize whole person care. Some strategies to address FI on the LLU campus include increasing communication of resources available, implementing food resources on campus (e.g. campus food bank, cafeteria meal plan, etc.) allocating additional resources, and increasing the weight of the issue.
Nutrition and Dietetics
Nutrition and Dietetics
School of Allied Health Professions
Master of Science (MS)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Aldama, Laura; Lai-Eschen, Holly; and Nua, Hannah, "Food Insecurity on LLU Campus and the Awareness of Resources Available" (2021). Loma Linda University Research Reports. 23.
Loma Linda University Research Reports
Loma Linda University. University Libraries.