Severity of food insecurity among Australian university students, professional and academic staff
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-21, 13:50 authored by Katherine KentKatherine Kent, Denis VisentinDenis Visentin, Corey PetersonCorey Peterson, Ian AyreIan Ayre, Catherine ElliottCatherine Elliott, Carmen Primo PerezCarmen Primo Perez, Sandra MurraySandra Murray
Assessments of the severity of food insecurity within Australian university students are lacking, and the experience of food insecurity in Australian university staff is unknown. A cross-sectional online survey in March 2022 aimed to characterize the severity of food insecurity in students, professional and academic staff at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). The Household Food Security Survey Module six-item short form assessed food security status in addition to seven demographic and education characteristics for students and six demographic and employment characteristics for staff. Participants were categorized as having high, marginal, low, or very low food security. Multivariate binary logistic regression identified students and staff at higher risk of food insecurity. Among student respondents (n = 1257), the prevalence of food insecurity was 41.9% comprising 8.2% marginal, 16.5% low, and 17.3% very low food security. Younger, non-binary, first-year enrolled, on campus, and international students were at significantly higher risk of food insecurity. Among staff (n = 560), 16.3% were food insecure comprising 3.8% marginal, 5.5% low, and 7.0% very low food security. Professional staff, staff on casual contracts, and staff recently employed, were at significantly higher risk of food insecurity. Our findings suggest a high occurrence of food insecurity in UTAS students and staff, with a large proportion of food insecure staff and students experiencing very low food security. Our findings have implications for efforts towards reducing food insecurity at university campuses through a holistic and integrated approach, advocating for food systems that support healthy, sustainable, and equitable food procurement and provision for both university students and staff.
Department/SchoolSchool of Health Sciences
Place of publicationSwitzerland
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