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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003 Dec;57(12):1598-604.

Food insecurity is associated with dietary intake and body size of Korean children from low-income families in urban areas.

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Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 130-701, Korea.



This study examined household food insecurity of urban low-income families in Korea and the associations of the food insecurity with children's dietary intake and body size.


Cross-sectional study.


Low-income neighborhoods in large cities.


Included 370 children aged 4-12 y, who had all records on dietary intake and anthropometry as well as household food insecurity measures.


Using the 10-item Radimer/Cornell Scale, 62.7% of the households showed some degree of food insecurity (8.6% for food insecure for family, 28.4% for food insecure for adults and 25.7% for child hunger households). Food insecurity was linearly and negatively associated with household economic conditions as well as the caretaker's use of nutrition knowledge. There were also significant associations of food insecurity with the children's dietary intakes, indicating the largest amount of nutrients for the children from the household food insecure, followed by those from the food secure, adult food insecure and child hunger groups. The household food insecure children were fatter than the food secure children. The fatter condition of the former children appeared to be related to more frequent intakes of low-quality foods.


This study reports curvilinear associations between the status of household food insecurity and children's food intakes and fatness.


This work was funded by a grant of the 2001 Korea Health Promotion Research Program, the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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