Food Insecurity is Associated with Obesity Among US Adults in 12 States
There is a growing body of literature addressing the relationship between food insecurity and obesity. A study published in September’s Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that in 12 states, the prevalence of obesity among food insecurity adults was 35.1 percent compared to 25.2 percent for food secure adults. Thus, food insecure adults had a 32 percent increased odds of being obese compared to food secure adults.
The study was conducted using data from 12 states including Wisconsin that used a redesigned food insecurity/food stress question as part of the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey. The modified question used by these 12 states was: “How often in the past 12 months would you say you were worried or stressed about having enough money to buy nutritious meals?” subjects that responded “always,” “usually,” or “sometimes,” were categorized as having food insecurity. Subjects who responded “rarely” or “never” were considered food secure.
The study’s results are consistent with previous studies identifying greater prevalence of obesity among food insecure adults, particularly women. This study also found that prevalence of food insecurity decreased once controlling for sociodemographic factors, but the relationship between obesity and food security remained significant.