Prevalence and correlates of food insecurity among Lebanese University students of Hadath Campus
Keywords:Food Insecurity; University Students; Food Security Scale.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of food insecurity among Lebanese University (Hadath Campus) students and examine its association with demographic characteristics, academic performance, body mass index (BMI), and household monthly income.
Methods: A total of 755 participants that studied at Hadath Campus of Lebanese University were recruited for this study. The prevalence of food insecurity was assessed using a validated scale of 7 items: Arabic Family Food Security Scale (AFFSS).
Findings: Responses to the AFFSS indicated that 8.9% of students were food insecure, among which 7.5% and 1.4% were respectively moderately and severely food insecure. Also, 91.1% were food secure. Food security status was significantly associated with age (p=0.001), family monthly allowance (p<0.001), weight (p=0.023), faculty (p=0.009) and BMI (p=0.04).
Conclusion: The prevalence of food-insecure students was approximately 9% in the sample. Further studies are needed to measure food insecurity among Lebanese University students across the rest of the campuses in order to have enough evidence regarding the food insecurity level. Moreover, policies and programs must address food insecurity levels among students to ensure that all the resources are available for these students to succeed.
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