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Prev Med. 2004 Feb;38(2):175-81.

Self-reported overweight and obesity are not associated with concern about enough food among adults in New York and Louisiana.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, CB# 8120, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA. blaraia@email.unc.edu



A causal relationship between hunger and obesity has been postulated. Two cross-sectional studies have found evidence to suggest an association between obesity and food insecurity among adult women, and a third study suggests an association between underweight and food insecurity among men. The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between concern about enough food and obesity in an adult population at the state level.


A cross-sectional analysis was conducted using 1999 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), Social Context Module (n = 3,945).


An 8.0% prevalence of concern about enough food was found in Louisiana, and an 11.8% prevalence was found in New York, and was positively associated with morbid obesity, RR = 2.20 (95% CI = 1.24, 3.90) and RR = 2.23 (95% CI = 1.30, 3.84), respectively. However, this association became nonsignificant after controlling for education, income, race/ethnicity, marital status, and general health.


A very strong apparent relationship between concern about enough food and obesity could be entirely accounted for by the influences of socioeconomic variables. This emphasizes the need for longitudinal research studies using precise measures of weight, height, and food security.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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