Does food insecurity contribute to socioeconomic inequalities in BMI?

Ramsey, Rebecca & Giskes, Katrina (2008) Does food insecurity contribute to socioeconomic inequalities in BMI? In Population Health Congress, 6-9 July 2008, Brisbane, Qld. (Unpublished)

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Introduction: Food insecurity is a social determinant of health and is defined as limited ability to access sufficient amounts of nutritionally adequate or safe food for a healthy and active life. Food insecurity is associated with poor health status and the exacerbation of other health inequalities. This study examined whether an association existed between 1) socioeconomic position (SEP) and food insecurity and 2) food insecurity and weight status.

Methods: Data from the 1995 National Nutrition Survey was analysed. A random sample of households (n = 13 858) were asked about dietary habits and food choices. Information about gender, age, BMI, waist circumference, household income and whether the household had run out of money to purchase food in the previous 12 months was obtained and analysed using chi-square and logistic regression.

Results: Income was significantly associated with food insecurity; households with lower income were at higher risk of food insecurity. Lower income males were nine times more likely to experience food insecurity and lower income females were three times more likely to experience food insecurity than their higher income counterparts. Food insecurity was significantly associated with body mass index (BMI) among women but not men. Women experiencing food insecurity were at higher risk of overweight/obesity according to BMI and waist circumference measures.

Conclusion: Evidence suggests that low income households are at higher risk of food insecurity and women who are food insecure are at higher risk of being overweight or obese. Food insecurity may mediate the association between SEP and BMI.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 55128
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Food security, Food insecurity, Socioeconomic inequalities, Weight status, Obesity, Body mass index
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100) > Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified (111199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Epidemiology (111706)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 27 Nov 2012 00:15
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:46

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