By Diane Carter
A survey by the Urban Institute found 13 percent of American college students are considered “food insecure.” Food insecurity is defined as a lack of food and/or poor nutrition.
The survey is based on government statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. It includes college students on campus and households with college students.
Collaborating with two professors from Brookings Institution, researchers from The Urban Institute investigated the prevalence of insufficient nutrition varied according to economic cycles.
Their research confirmed that economic downturns raised poor nutritional behaviors.
Solutions to poor nutrition by college students include changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to grant aid for food to part time college workers with less than 20-hour work weeks. Other solutions include the assessment of the nutritional needs of homeless and/or transient college students, greater recognition by lawmakers of food insecurity issues among ethnic populations and a unified political approach to different aspects of nutritional concerns within campuses.