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Potential health and dietary consequences of food insecurity among Australian adults residing in urbanised disadvantaged areas

Ramsey, Rebecca, Giskes, Katrina , Gallegos, Danielle, & Turrell, Gavin (2011) Potential health and dietary consequences of food insecurity among Australian adults residing in urbanised disadvantaged areas. In Annual meeting of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15-18th June, 2011, Melbourne. (Unpublished)

Abstract

Purpose: Food insecurity is the limited/uncertain availability or ability to acquire nutritionally-adequate, culturally-relevant and safe foods. Adults suffering from food insecurity are at risk of inadequate nutrient intakes or, paradoxically, overweight/obesity and the development of chronic disease. Despite the global financial crisis and rising costs of living, few studies have investigated the potential dietary and health consequences of food insecurity among the Australian population. This study examined whether food insecurity was associated with health behaviours and dietary intakes among adults residing in socioeconomically-disadvantaged urbanised areas.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a random sample of residents (n = 1000) were selected from the most disadvantaged suburbs of Brisbane city (response rate 51%). Data were collected by postal questionnaire which ascertained information on socio-demographic information, household food security, height, weight, frequency of healthcare utilisation, presence of chronic disease and intakes of fruit, vegetables and take-away. Data were analysed using logistic regression.

Results/Findings: The prevalence of food insecurity was 25%. Those reporting food insecurity were two-to-three times more likely to have seen a general practitioner or been hospitalised within the previous 6 months. Furthermore, food insecurity was associated with a three-to-six-fold increase in the likelihood of experiencing depression. Food insecurity was associated with higher intakes of some take-away foods, however was not significantly associated with weight status or intakes of fruits or vegetables among this disadvantaged sample.

Conclusion: Food insecurity has potential adverse health consequences that may result in significant health burdens among the population, and this may be concentrated in socioeconomically-disadvantaged suburbs.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 55131
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Keywords: Food security, Food insecurity, Dietary consequences, Health consequences
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
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 27 Nov 2012 08:32
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2012 08:32

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