Purpose. This study contrasts views of university students with very low or high food security scores with respect to: obstacles to healthy eating, food pantry use, and managing dietary and educational needs. Method. Comments on open-ended survey questions (n = 1374) were counted, compared, and thematically analyzed to discern differences between the two student groups. Results. Cost concerns were paramount among students with very low food security scores. Students with very low food security experienced significant challenges in reconciling dietary needs and long-term educational goals; this was not problematic among students with high food security. Students from both very low and high food security groups mostly expressed an openness to the campus food pantry, though stigma associated with its use remained a deterrent. Conclusion. While all students face similar challenges to healthy eating, food security status substantially shapes dietary health and the management of dietary and educational needs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health