Food Insecurity is Related to Disordered Eating Behaviors Among College Students

Michael F. Royer, Chinedum O. Ojinnaka, Meg Bruening

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the association between food insecurity and disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) in undergraduate college students. Methods: Cross-sectional data of college students (n = 533) were collected from February to April 2020. Food security was measured with the US Department of Agriculture's Adult Food Security Survey Module. Disordered eating behaviors were measured with the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire. Associations were examined statistically with Pearson chi-square tests of independence and general linear regression models. Results: Across all food security ranges, linear trends detailed significant associations between food insecurity and global DEBs (β = 0.17; P < 0.001), eating concern (β = 0.27; P < 0.001), shape concern (β = 0.17; P = 0.001), and weight concern (β = 0.21; P < 0.001), but not restraint (β = 0.10; P = 0.08). Conclusions and Implications: Food insecurity was consistently related to DEBs. Future research may consider longitudinally examining this relationship, as food insecurity and DEBs may be associated with worse health outcomes among vulnerable college students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-956
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • college
  • disordered eating behaviors
  • food insecurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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