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Cad Saude Publica. 2013 Feb;29(2):219-26.

Household food insecurity and excess weight/obesity among Brazilian women and children: a life-course approach.

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Instituto de Nutrição Josué de Castro, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.


Household food insecurity (HFI) may increase obesity risk, but results are not consistent across the life course or between developed/underdeveloped settings. The objective of this paper is to review findings from previous analyses in Brazil among adult women, female adolescents, and children up to five. Data were derived from the 2006 Brazilian Demographic and Health Survey. Associations between HFI (measured with the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale) and excess weight/obesity were investigated through Poisson regression models. While severe HFI was associated with obesity risk among adult women (PR: 1.49; 95%CI: 1.17-1.90), moderate HFI was associated with excess weight among female adolescents (PR: 1.96; 95%CI: 1.18-3.27). There was no association between HFI and obesity among children (either boys or girls). The nutrition transition in Brazil may be shaping the differential deleterious effect of HFI on body fat accumulation across the life course; the association is already evident among female adolescents and adult women but still not among children.

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