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To assess the relationship between food insecurity, sleep quality, and days with mental and physical health issues among college students.
An online survey was administered. Food insecurity was assessed using the ten-item Adult Food Security Survey Module. Sleep was measured using the nineteen-item Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Mental health and physical health were measured using three items from the Healthy Days Core Module. Multivariate logistic regression was conducted to assess the relationship between food insecurity, sleep quality, and days with poor mental and physical health.
Twenty-two higher education institutions.
College students (n 17 686) enrolled at one of twenty-two participating universities.
Compared with food-secure students, those classified as food insecure (43·4 %) had higher PSQI scores indicating poorer sleep quality (P < 0·0001) and reported more days with poor mental (P < 0·0001) and physical (P < 0·0001) health as well as days when mental and physical health prevented them from completing daily activities (P < 0·0001). Food-insecure students had higher adjusted odds of having poor sleep quality (adjusted OR (AOR): 1·13; 95 % CI 1·12, 1·14), days with poor physical health (AOR: 1·01; 95 % CI 1·01, 1·02), days with poor mental health (AOR: 1·03; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·03) and days when poor mental or physical health prevented them from completing daily activities (AOR: 1·03; 95 % CI 1·02, 1·04).
College students report high food insecurity which is associated with poor mental and physical health, and sleep quality. Multi-level policy changes and campus wellness programmes are needed to prevent food insecurity and improve student health-related outcomes.
To assess rates of food insecurity (FI) among college students enrolled at a large public university system across one US state and identify factors associated with experiencing FI.
Cross-sectional online survey administered to eligible, enrolled students (n 38 614) across three campuses within the university system, with 5593 students responding (4824 final sample after applying exclusion criteria, 12·5 % response rate). FI was assessed using the US Department of Agriculture’s Adult Food Security Survey Module. Descriptive statistics were conducted to calculate FI status and identify sample characteristics. Associations between FI status and independent variables were assessed using bivariate analyses (χ2 and ANOVA tests) and multivariate logistic regression.
Large public university system, Southeast USA.
Enrolled college students (excluding freshman, <18 years of age).
Thirty-six per cent of students were classified as FI. After controlling for confounders, factors that were significantly associated with increased likelihood of FI included previous FI (P<0·001; OR=4·78), financial factors and self-reported grade point average ≤3·85. Seniors were significantly more likely experience FI than graduate students (P=0·004, OR=1·41). A significant relationship was not identified between FI and meal plan participation, and no differences in FI were found between graduate students and individuals with sophomore or junior standing.
This research identifies high rates of FI among college students enrolled in a large public university system in the Southeast USA, as well as selected factors related to FI. Programmes to assist college students experiencing FI need to be developed and tested.
Introduction of solid foods before the recommended age of 4–6 months is a common practice in the USA, and appears to be especially prevalent among infants who are enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Currently, little is known about how fathers influence early infant feeding decisions, outside the decision to breast- or formula-feed. The purpose of the current study was to explore how fathers perceive the role they play in feeding and caring for their infants.
Participants were twenty-one male caregivers, who were fathers or partners of the mothers of WIC income-eligible infants residing in two rural East Tennessee counties. In-depth, audio-taped telephone interviews were completed. Interviews were transcribed, coded and analysed according to standard grounded theory procedures to identify emergent concepts. These concepts were explored and linked together to become themes.
Three themes emerged: (i) fathers’ roles; (ii) fathers’ perceptions; and (iii) control. Concepts within the theme of fathers’ roles included physical and emotional support for both mother and infant, validation of maternal decisions, and financial support. In the present study, fathers’ perceptions were primarily shaped by their own experiences, advice from those with experience, and information sought by the fathers. The theme of control appears to be the linkage between the fathers’ attempts to modify infant behaviour and infants’ response.
A final conceptual model was created to explain the interrelated nature of the themes and may be helpful to those who work with fathers and/or families of new infants.
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