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Severity of food insecurity among Australian university students, professional and academic staff


Kent, K and Visentin, D and Peterson, C and Ayre, I and Elliott, C and Primo, C and Murray, S, Severity of food insecurity among Australian university students, professional and academic staff, Nutrients, 14 Article 3956.. ISSN 2072-6643 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (

DOI: doi:10.3390/nu14193956


Assessments of the severity of food insecurity within Australian university students are lacking, and the experience of food insecurity in Australian university staff is unknown. A cross-sectional online survey in March 2022 aimed to characterize the severity of food insecurity in students, professional and academic staff at the University of Tasmania (UTAS). The Household Food Security Survey Module six-item short form assessed food security status in addition to seven demographic and education characteristics for students and six demographic and employment characteristics for staff. Participants were categorized as having high, marginal, low, or very low food security. Multivariate binary logistic regression identified students and staff at higher risk of food insecurity. Among student respondents (n = 1257), the prevalence of food insecurity was 41.9% comprising 8.2% marginal, 16.5% low, and 17.3% very low food security. Younger, non-binary, first-year enrolled, on campus, and international students were at significantly higher risk of food insecurity. Among staff (n = 560), 16.3% were food insecure comprising 3.8% marginal, 5.5% low, and 7.0% very low food security. Professional staff, staff on casual contracts, and staff recently employed, were at significantly higher risk of food insecurity. Our findings suggest a high occurrence of food insecurity in UTAS students and staff, with a large proportion of food insecure staff and students experiencing very low food security. Our findings have implications for efforts towards reducing food insecurity at university campuses through a holistic and integrated approach, advocating for food systems that support healthy, sustainable, and equitable food procurement and provision for both university students and staff.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:food insecurity, food security, university students, college students, university staff
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Higher education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Higher education
UTAS Author:Kent, K (Dr Katherine Kent)
UTAS Author:Visentin, D (Dr Denis Visentin)
UTAS Author:Peterson, C (Mr Corey Peterson)
UTAS Author:Ayre, I (Mr Ian Ayre)
UTAS Author:Elliott, C (Dr Catherine Elliott)
UTAS Author:Primo, C (Dr Carmen Primo Perez)
UTAS Author:Murray, S (Ms Sandra Murray)
ID Code:153554
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2022-09-26
Last Modified:2022-11-17
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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