Food insecurity and mental health among young adult college students in the United States

Hans Oh, Lee Smith, Louis Jacob, Jinyu Du, Jae Il Shin, Sasha Zhou, Ai Koyanagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Food insecurity is prevalent among college students in the United States and has been associated with mental health problems. However, the literature is not entirely consistent and is missing key aspects of mental health. Methods: Using cross-sectional data from the Health Minds Study (N = 96,379; September 2020–June 2021), we used multivariable logistic regression to examine associations between food insecurity and several aspects of mental health (i.e., depression, anxiety, languishing, perceived need, loneliness, self-injurious behaviors), adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, financial distress, and parental education. Results: Food insecurity was associated with greater odds of having depression, anxiety, languishing, perceived need for help, loneliness, and self-injurious behaviors, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and markers of socioeconomic status. Conclusion: This study found evidence to suggest that food insecurity is related to poor mental health in a large sample of young adult college students in the United States, calling for targeted interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-363
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Apr 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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