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Hungry to Learn

Food insecurity among college freshman

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire)—The U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that food insecurity is a growing problem among low-income college students. Now a study looks at what else is at play if students are studying while hungry.

Books…tuition…housing. There’s a lot to pay for when your teen heads to college. But a study from the University of Florida found that 19 percent of students from eight states are food insecure, and an additional 25 percent are at risk of becoming food insecure. The researchers found food-insecure freshmen had higher perceived stress, disordered or dysfunctional eating behaviors, lower sleep quality, and a lower GPA than food-secure freshmen.

Food-insecure students or students at risk for food insecurity can see if their college offers a food pantry. They may also be eligible for government assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

The study also found that students who lived off-campus, received a Pell Grant, or were not enrolled in a meal plan were significantly more likely to be food-insecure than their counterparts.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Milvionne Chery, Writer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

(Sources: https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/8/1/4/4568361; http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/fshndept/2018/05/29/nutritional-sciences-phd-fellow-aseel-el-zein-awarded-best-college-thesis/)


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