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Public Health Nutr. 2014 Jan;17(1):40-8. doi: 10.1017/S136898001300116X. Epub 2013 May 7.

Women respondents report higher household food insecurity than do men in similar Canadian households.

Author information

1
1 Department of Economics, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK.
2
2 Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Teaching Research & Wellness (TRW) Building, Room 3E14 (3rd Floor), 3280 Hospital Dr. NW, Calgary, AB T2N 4Z6, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

We investigated factors accounting for the consistently higher levels of household food insecurity reported by women in Canada.

DESIGN:

Two cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey for the years 2005/2006 and 2007/2008 were pooled to examine the association between household food insecurity, measured using the Household Food Security Survey Module and other metrics, and respondent sex. We stratified households as married/cohabiting (in which case, the household respondent was chosen randomly) or non-married (single/widowed/separated/divorced) and adjusted for differences in household characteristics, including the presence of children.

SETTING:

Canada.

SUBJECTS:

Analysis was restricted to households dependent on employment/self-employment and whose reported annual household income was below $CAN 100,000. Exclusions included respondents less than 18 years of age, any welfare receipt, and missing food insecurity, marital status, income source and amount, or household composition data.

RESULTS:

For non-married households, increased food insecurity in female- v. male-led households was accounted for by significant differences in household socio-economic characteristics. In contrast, in married/cohabiting households with or without children, higher food insecurity rates were reported when the respondent was female and neither respondent characteristics nor socio-economic factors accounted for the differences.

CONCLUSIONS:

Higher rates of food insecurity in non-married households in Canada are largely attributable to women's socio-economic disadvantage. In married households, women appear to report higher levels of food insecurity than men. These findings suggest a possible bias in the measurement of population-level household food insecurity in surveys that do not account for the sex of the respondent in married/cohabiting households.

PMID:
23651492
DOI:
10.1017/S136898001300116X
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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