Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Paradoxically, Food Insecurity May Be Underlying Contributor To Overweight

Date:
October 2, 2009
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Both household food insecurity and childhood overweight are significant problems in the United States. Paradoxically, being food-insecure may be an underlying contributor to being overweight. A study of almost 8,500 low-income children ages 1 month to 5 years suggests an association between household food insecurity and overweight prevalence in this low-income population. However, sex and age appear to modify both the magnitude and direction of the association.

Both household food insecurity (HFInsec) and childhood overweight are significant problems in the United States. Paradoxically, being food-insecure may be an underlying contributor to being overweight. A study of almost 8,500 low-income children ages 1 month to 5 years, published in the October 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, suggests an association between household food insecurity and overweight prevalence in this low-income population. However, sex and age appear to modify both the magnitude and direction of the association.

Food insecurity is defined as the lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life, which results from limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate and safe foods in socially acceptable ways. In 2004, 11% of households in the United States reported household food insecurity, and households with children younger than 6 years old and black and Hispanic households experienced higher rates of household food insecurity and hunger. Prevalence of household food insecurity and overweight has increased over time and are more prevalent in low-income families.

This cross-sectional study is based on demographic, anthropometric, food security and other health-related data collected from November 1998 through December 1999, on a sample of children and mothers from low income families participating in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for the Women, Infants, and Children) Program. Data on the children’s age, sex, parental/caretaker report of child race/ethnicity and maternal education were also collected.

Of the 8,493 children with complete data, 31% of the children were from food-insecure households (8.3% with hunger), and 18.4% of the sample was overweight. Prevalence of HFInsec did not differ significantly by age, sex or maternal education.

Because significant interactions were found between HFInsec and age-group and sex, the researchers separated the subjects into four groups, boys < 2 years old, girls < 2 years old, boys 2-5 years old and girls 2-5 years old. In girls < 2 years old, HFInsec was associated with a lower likelihood of being overweight. No correlation was found for boys < 2 years. In contrast, 2- to 5-year- old girls from households reporting HFInsec with hunger had a 47% higher odds of overweight than those from food secure households. No association was found for HFInsec without hunger among 2-5 year old girls, and again, no association was found among 2-5 year old boys.

Writing in the article, Elizabeth Metallinos-Katsaras, Associate Professor, Department of Nutrition, School for Health Sciences, Simmons College, Boston, states, “The findings of this study suggest that HFInsec is associated with overweight prevalence in low income ethnically and racially diverse girls. Age and sex, however, appear to modify both the magnitude and the directionality of the association. Future research should examine these associations using a longitudinal research design. Moreover, qualitative research is needed to establish the underlying behaviors that may affect the development of childhood overweight among families with uncertain and limited food availability and how these behaviors may vary by sex.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "Paradoxically, Food Insecurity May Be Underlying Contributor To Overweight." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001095603.htm>.
Elsevier. (2009, October 2). Paradoxically, Food Insecurity May Be Underlying Contributor To Overweight. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001095603.htm
Elsevier. "Paradoxically, Food Insecurity May Be Underlying Contributor To Overweight." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091001095603.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins