Investigating the effect of food poverty on LJMU Students: A survey study

  • Emer Dickinson
Keywords: food poverty, food insecurity, student poverty, student food poverty, University


Food poverty is a public health issue which is affecting people all over the world. There have been numerous studies looking into the effects of food poverty, the reasons behind it and who are most likely to suffer with it. Despite the ever-growing data on the topic there is limited data on student food poverty and particularly for UK students.  The aim of this study was to investigate food poverty in LJMU students, identify any effects this has on their studies and if there is something that LJMU can do to help their students. The research was carried out via an online questionnaire and was filled in by LJMU students from different levels of study (n=74). These results identified that nearly half of the sample had skipped a meal because they could not afford to eat (n=48.6%) and had gone into university hungry (n=43.8%). In addition, only 14.9% of students were eating the full recommended portions of fruit and vegetables a day. These results suggest a certain level of malnutrition in students which is worthy of further investigation. Recommendations include a further university wide quantitative and qualitative study supported by the university and the Student Union. Also, to get the Student Union involved in creating solutions to food poverty identified in this research, for example, by creating a food bank or helping create sessions where students can learn how to buy a healthy shop for a week within budget, and then cook meals with the shop. The final recommendation is to further investigate the links between mental health and student food poverty and diet.