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Health Rep. 2011 Jun;22(2):15-20.

Associations between household food insecurity and health outcomes in the Aboriginal population (excluding reserves).

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University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2T4.



Aboriginal people are more vulnerable to food insecurity and morbidity than is the Canadian population overall. However, little information is available about the association between food insecurity and health in Aboriginal households.


Data from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey-Nutrition were used to examine the relationships between household food security and self-reported health, well-being and health behaviours in a sample of 837 Aboriginal adults living off reserve. Household food security status was based on Health Canada's interpretation of the United States Household Food Security Survey Module. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify significant relationships, while adjusting for potential confounders.


An estimated 29% of Aboriginal people aged 18 or older lived in food-insecure households. They were more likely to report poor general and mental health, life dissatisfaction, a very weak sense of community belonging, high stress and cigarette smoking, compared with their counterparts in food-secure households. When age, gender and household education were taken into account, respondents from food-insecure households had significantly higher odds of poor general health, high stress, life dissatisfaction, and a very weak community belonging.


Reductions in household food insecurity may improve the health and well-being of Aboriginals living off-reserve.

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