Title of Abstract

The Relationship Between Food Insecurity, Disordered Eating Behaviors, and Eating Disorders

Poster Number

28

Submitting Student(s)

Yinka Pelumi

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Ashley Licata, Ph.D., RD, CSSD; Jessie Hoffman, Ph.D., RD; Karin Evans, M.A., RD, CHES; & Michael Lipscomb, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Human Nutrition

Abstract

College students (young adults aged 18-24) are the most susceptible population to fall in the marginal to low food security range due to a lack of accessible resources. This issue has become more pressing since the coronavirus pandemic has displaced many college students from their normal living and employment arrangements. The financial burden of having to pay for school (classes, room and board or rent, textbooks, supplies, etc.) and food forces many students to decide which is more important. Although many colleges have food pantries that are available for students to grab what they need, an alarming number of students still report that they are food insecure. The added stress of having to micromanage funds can seriously damage students’ relationships with food, leading to the development or resurfacing of disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) or clinically diagnosed eating disorders (EDs). Thus, this study explores the relationship between food insecurity, disordered eating behaviors, and eating disorders in college students. A Qualtrics survey including demographics and screening questions for level of food security, DEBs, and EDs will be sent to the student body using the Winthrop Daily Announcements. We hypothesize that students who report some level of food insecurity are more likely to report practicing some DEBs or having a diagnosis of an ED than students who report being food secure. More research is needed about this relationship so that colleges can develop resources that are better at recognizing DEBs and aiding students who are at risk of becoming food insecure.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

The Relationship Between Food Insecurity, Disordered Eating Behaviors, and Eating Disorders

College students (young adults aged 18-24) are the most susceptible population to fall in the marginal to low food security range due to a lack of accessible resources. This issue has become more pressing since the coronavirus pandemic has displaced many college students from their normal living and employment arrangements. The financial burden of having to pay for school (classes, room and board or rent, textbooks, supplies, etc.) and food forces many students to decide which is more important. Although many colleges have food pantries that are available for students to grab what they need, an alarming number of students still report that they are food insecure. The added stress of having to micromanage funds can seriously damage students’ relationships with food, leading to the development or resurfacing of disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) or clinically diagnosed eating disorders (EDs). Thus, this study explores the relationship between food insecurity, disordered eating behaviors, and eating disorders in college students. A Qualtrics survey including demographics and screening questions for level of food security, DEBs, and EDs will be sent to the student body using the Winthrop Daily Announcements. We hypothesize that students who report some level of food insecurity are more likely to report practicing some DEBs or having a diagnosis of an ED than students who report being food secure. More research is needed about this relationship so that colleges can develop resources that are better at recognizing DEBs and aiding students who are at risk of becoming food insecure.