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Associations exist between food insecurity, poor diet, chronic illness and obesity among an Australian population

Ramsey, Rebecca & Gallegos, Danielle (2012) Associations exist between food insecurity, poor diet, chronic illness and obesity among an Australian population. In 16th International Congress of Dietetics, 5-8 September 2012, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sydney, NSW. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Food insecurity is the limited availability of, or access to, sufficient amounts of nutritious, culturally-appropriate and safe foods, or the inability to access such foods by socially-acceptable means. Evidence from the United States and Canada suggests that food insecurity may be associated with poor dietary intakes, obesity, and chronic disease including depression and diabetes, thus constituting a significant public health issue. Currently, no existing studies have investigated the dietary and health factors associated with food insecurity among the general Australian population. The current study investigated the potential associations between food insecurity, diet and health among Australian adults (18 years and over) participating in the cross-sectional National Health Survey (n = 19,500). Data were analysed by logistic regression adjusting for sociodemographic covariates. Those from food insecure households were 50% less likely to consume the recommended number of servings of fruit, 60% more likely to report poor health and experienced a 6-fold increase in the risk of severe depressive disorders, compared to their food secure counterparts. Furthermore, food insecurity was associated with a 50% increase in the risk of being diagnosed with ‘high sugar levels’. Finally, women from food insecure households were 30% more likely to be obese compared to their food secure counterparts. These findings suggest that food insecurity may play an important role in preventing adherence with national dietary recommendations, and may increase the risk of obesity and chronic illness. This has important implications for both clinical practice, and the development of interventions and policy to address food insecurity.

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ID Code: 55250
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
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
Deposited On: 04 Dec 2012 08:10
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2012 08:10

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