Studying food security among students: a comparative case study between public and private universities in Quito-Ecuador

David Eche, María Hernández Herrera

Resumen


Introduction: food security (FS) has become a global concern. However, despite the implementation of international policies to promote it, very little is being done to understand the food security, health and nutrition issues in young populations at the university level.


Aim: to explore the state of food security among two different student populations from private and public universities in Quito, Ecuador.


Methods: this quantitative study includes students from most of the faculties. A total of 730 students were surveyed at the University of The Americas (private) and Central University of Ecuador (public), Quito, Ecuador.


Results: according to our results, there is a wide socioeconomic difference among households and students from both institutions; almost 50% of the all surveyed population are food insecure due to the increase of food prices, household food spending and economic restrictions. The results show that student’s populations with good food access are food insecure. But, also, food insecurity affects students from households with low income, to the point they have to skip at least a meal a week.


Conclusion: the findings here show that students from private universities are as food insecure as public university students, despite having better food access. Having good food access and food availability does not mean there is more food security among students.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20960/nh.1919

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