- Data Note
- Open Access
State of nutrition amongst US college students: dataset of a national survey study
BMC Research Notes volume 16, Article number: 10 (2023)
This article presents the dataset titled “Nutrition habits amongst college students in the United States. ” The dataset contains the survey responses of 200 US college students aged 18–24 years regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and challenges with regard to nutrition. The recommended USDA (US daily allowance) is 200 calories, comprised of 2 cups fruits, 2.5 cups vegetables, 5.5 ounces of protein, 6 ounces of grains, and 3 cups of dairy . Adhering to these nutritional guidelines however can be complicated by rising tuition prices, food insecurity, and inability to make one’s own food.
The data in the dataset attempt to estimate the incidence of these barriers. These data could be useful to understand the barriers to healthy eating amongst young adults, and design targeted solutions.
The objective of this research is to survey US College students on their knowledge and habits towards nutrition. It is known that “eating healthy” can actually be difficult, and college students often have special challenges such as being responsible for their own nutrition perhaps for the first time as young adults. The study aimed to decipher whether factors such as knowledge gaps regarding health benefits of a balanced diet exist. The study also aimed to assess whether rising college tuition imposed a barrier and the level of food insecurity among college students.
Two hundred (N = 200) domestic U.S. college students ages 18–24 attending a 4-year university were surveyed through a third party anonymous survey research platform. The survey research platform uses organic sampling built on Random Device Engagement (RDE). Using artificial intelligence (AI) to track unique respondent identification, RDE reaches users in their natural environments as they participate in their daily activities through any device. The advanced AI technology and algorithm prevents fraud from single users on multiple accounts and suspicious or illogical responses to specific questions.
One screening question was used to determine survey eligibility. This question asked whether and what type of college student the respondent was. I order to be eligible, the respondent had to be between 18 and 24 years old, and attending a 4-year university in the United States (US).
The survey then consisted of 10 questions. For some of the questions, multiple selections amongst the multiple choices were allowed, so that percentage totals could exceed 100%. The final question was an open-ended one designed to capture the students’ verbatim feelings.
There are two files included in the repository (Table 1). The first is the actual survey instrument used to collect the data. The second file is the actual dataset. The dataset contains the following demographic information: age range, sex, race, US state of respondents’ address, marital status, number of children if any, education, employment status, and income level. The dataset also contains responses to every individual question on the survey instrument. There is also a field for the open ended question at the end of the survey that asks : “Please describe the biggest obstacles for you in your diet.” These responses are provided in raw form, as verbatim responses.
The limitations of these data are these inherent to any dataset based on survey responses. In particular, respondents with biases may select themselves into the sample. Nonetheless, these data could be useful to understand the barriers to healthy eating amongst young adults. These data could be used to design targeted solutions for young adults who struggle to meet recommended dietary guidelines.
Availability of data and materials
The data described in this Data note can be freely and openly accessed on [Synapse] under [DOIhttps://doi.org/10.7303/syn38269688.1] after registration as a synapse user at http://synpase.org. Please see Table 1 and references [1, 2] for details links to the data.
Gande S, Mangal RK, Stead TS, Ganti L. A survey of nutrition habits amongst US College Students. Synapse, V1. https://doi.org/10.7303/syn38269688.1
Gande S, Mangal RK, Stead TS, Ganti L. A survey of nutrition habits amongst US College Students: the survey instrument. Synapse, V1. https://doi.org/10.7303/syn38288698.1
This research was supported (in whole or in part) by HCA Healthcare and/or an HCA Healthcare affiliated entity. The views expressed in this publication represent those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of HCA Healthcare or any of its affiliated entities.
This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Ethics approval and consent to participate
Informed consent from participants was obtained. This study was carried out in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Our institutional review board manager HCA Centralized Algorithms for Research Rules on IRB Exemptions (CARRIE) issued study exemption number 2022-865.
Consent for publication
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Rights and permissions
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
About this article
Cite this article
Gande, S., Mangal, R.K., Stead, T.S. et al. State of nutrition amongst US college students: dataset of a national survey study. BMC Res Notes 16, 10 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-023-06273-7
- Daily calories
- College students
- Mindset towards nutrition
- Healthy food expenses