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Appetite. 2017 Oct 1;117:373-378. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2017.07.010. Epub 2017 Jul 22.

Food insecurity and adult overweight/obesity: Gender and race/ethnic disparities.

Author information

1
University of Houston, Department of Health and Human Performance, 3875 Holman St., Garrison Gymnasium Rm 104, Houston, 77204-6015, TX, USA. Electronic address: dhernandez26@uh.edu.
2
University of Houston, Department of Health and Human Performance, 3875 Holman St., Garrison Gymnasium Rm 104, Houston, 77204-6015, TX, USA.
3
University of Houston, Department of Psychological Health and Learning Sciences, 3657 Cullen Blvd, Stephen Power Farish Hall, Houston, 77204-5029, TX, USA.

Abstract

The majority of the food insecurity-obesity research has indicated a positive association among women, especially minority women. Less research has been conducted on men, and the findings are inconsistent. The aim was to assess whether gender and race/ethnic disparities exists between the food insecurity and overweight/obesity relationship among adults ages 18-59. We used the cross-sectional 2011 and 2012 National Health Interview Survey data (N = 19,990). Three or more affirmative responses on the 10-item USDA Food Security Scale indicated food insecure experiences. Self-reported height and weight were used to calculate body mass index according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multivariate logistic regression models were stratified by gender and race/ethnicity to estimate the association between food insecurity and overweight/obesity controlling for several demographic characteristics. Adults on average were 36 years of age (51% female; 56% white, 27% Hispanic, and 17% black), 27% were food insecure, and 65% were overweight/obese. Food insecurity was most prevalent among blacks and Hispanics, regardless of gender. A greater percentage of food insecure women were overweight/obese compared to food secure women among all race/ethnicity groups; while similar proportions of white, black, and Hispanic men were overweight/obese irrespective of their food security status. In covariate-adjusted models, food insecurity was associated with a 41% and 29% higher odds of being overweight/obese among white and Hispanic women, respectively. Food insecurity was not related to overweight/obesity among black women nor among white, black, and Hispanic men. The complex relationship between food insecurity and obesity suggests a need to investigate potential behavioral and physiological mechanisms, and moderators of this relationship.

KEYWORDS:

Hispanics; Hunger; National Health Interview Survey; Nutrition; Obesity

PMID:
28739148
DOI:
10.1016/j.appet.2017.07.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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