Low-income people are most vulnerable to food insecurity; many turn to community and/or charitable food programs to receive free or low-cost food. This needs assessment aims to collect information on the barriers to accessing food programs, the opportunities for improving food access, the barriers to eating fresh vegetables and fruit, and the opportunities to increasing their consumption among food-insecure people in Cobourg, Ontario.
We interviewed food program clients using structured individual interviews consisting of mostly opened-ended questions.
Food program clients identified barriers to using food programs as lack of transportation and the food programs having insufficient quantities of food or inconvenient operating hours. They also stated a lack of available vegetables and fruit at home, and income as barriers to eating more vegetables and fruit, but suggested a local fresh fruit and vegetable bulk-buying program called "Good Food Box" and community gardens as opportunities to help increase their vegetable and fruit intake.
Many of the barriers and opportunities identified can be addressed by working with community partners to help low-income individuals become more food secure.
OBJECTIVE: Comparison of household and individual food consumption. DESIGN, SETTING AND SUBJECTS: Combined household and individual food consumption survey carried out in Sweden in 1989. A random sample of 3000 subjects aged 0-74 years, the household to which the subject belonged constituted the household unit. Each household recorded all the foods it purchased over a 4-week period, except food eaten outside the home. For the selected subject, excluding children
In this article, we analyze fertility control in a rural population characterized by natural fertility, using survival analysis on a longitudinal data set at the individual level combined with food prices. Landless and semilandless families responded strongly to short-term economic stress stemming from changes in prices. The fertility response, both to moderate and large changes in food prices, was the strongest within six months after prices changed in the fall, which means that the response was deliberate. People foresaw bad times and planned their fertility accordingly. The result highlights the importance of deliberate control of the timing of childbirth before the fertility transition, not in order to achieve a certain family size but, as in this case, to reduce the negative impacts of short-term economic stress.
The prevalence of adult-level household food insecurity was examined among clients receiving outpatient diabetes health care services.
Participants were adults diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, who attended individual counselling sessions at Calgary's main clinic from January to April 2010. Clinicians were trained to administer the Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM), and did so with clients' assent during their scheduled sessions.
The prevalence of adult-level household food insecurity among 314 respondents was 15.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.2 to 19.4); 6.7% (95% CI, 4.2 to 10.0) of clinic attendees were categorized as severely food insecure. The comparable rates obtained in Alberta in 2007 using the same instrument (HFSSM) were 5.6% and 1.2%, respectively.
Household food insecurity rates among individuals with diabetes in active care are higher than rates reported in Canadian population surveys. Severe food insecurity, indicating reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns, may affect this population's ability to follow a pattern of healthy eating necessary for effective diabetes management. This study reinforces the importance of assessing clients' inability to access food because of financial constraints, and indicates that screening with a validated measure may facilitate identification of clients at risk.
Household food insecurity constrains food selection, but whether the dietary compromises associated with this problem heighten the risk of nutrient inadequacies is unclear. The objectives of this study were to examine the relationship between household food security status and adults' and children's dietary intakes and to estimate the prevalence of nutrient inadequacies among adults and children, differentiating by household food security status. We analyzed 24-h recall and household food security data for persons aged 1-70 y from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey (cycle 2.2). The relationship between adults' and children's nutrient and food intakes and household food security status was assessed using regression analysis. Estimates of the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intakes by food security status and age/sex group were calculated using probability assessment methods. Poorer dietary intakes were observed among adolescents and adults in food-insecure households and many of the differences by food security status persisted after accounting for potential confounders in multivariate analyses. Higher estimated prevalences of nutrient inadequacy were apparent among adolescents and adults in food-insecure households, with the differences most marked for protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, vitamin B-12, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Among children, few differences in dietary intakes by household food security status were apparent and there was little indication of nutrient inadequacy. This study indicates that for adults and, to some degree, adolescents, food insecurity is associated with inadequate nutrient intakes. These findings highlight the need for concerted public policy responses to ameliorate household food insecurity.
The cost of purchasing a nutritionally adequate diet in four Yukon communities was examined, based on the 46 food items and quantities of the federal government's Northern Food Basket. In Old Crow, unit purchase prices were on average 250% of those in Edmonton, while in three southern Yukon communities, unit purchase prices were about 125% of those in Edmonton. In quantities needed to meet weekly nutrient needs of a family of four, the cost in Old Crow was 320% of that in Edmonton, while in three southern Yukon communities, it was 140%. It appears that due to financial necessity, Yukon aboriginal people need continuing access to traditional food resources (wild game animals, birds, fish and berries). Since the Northern Food Basket does not include any traditional foods, it alone is of limited acceptability to these people. The high cost of marketed food and the role of traditional foods in contemporary diets should be considered in giving dietary advice and in determining food allowances in social assistance programs.
This study aimed to assess the prevalence and correlates of food insecurity in a cohort of HIV-infected individuals on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Adults receiving HAART voluntarily enrolled into the Longitudinal Investigations into Supportive and Ancillary Health Services (LISA) cohort. Individual food insecurity was measured using a modified version of the Radimer/Cornell Questionnaire. We performed bivariate analyses to determine differences between explanatory variables for individuals who were food secure and food insecure. We performed logistic regression to determine independent predictors of food insecurity. Of the 457 individuals enrolled in the LISA cohort, 324 (71.0%) were found to be food insecure. Multivariate analysis indicated that individuals who had an annual incomes less than $15,000 (odds ratio [OR] 3.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.83, 5.44), used illicit drugs (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.03, 3.33), smoked tobacco (OR 2.30, 95% CI 1.30, 4.07), had depressive symptoms (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.38, 3.96), and were younger (OR 0.95, 95% CI, 0.92, 0.98) were more likely to be food insecure. Our results demonstrated a high (71%) prevalence of food insecurity among HIV-infected individuals receiving HAART in this resource-rich setting, and that food insecurity is associated with a compendium of environmental and behavioral factors. More research is needed to understand the biological and social pathways linking food insecurity to these variables in order to identify program strategies that can effectively improve food security among HIV-infected populations.
To identify socio-demographic factors associated with household food insecurity in the Ontario population.
Using data from the Ontario Share File of the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, multivariate logistic regression was applied to identify the socio-demographic characteristics of households most likely to report food insecurity.
Of the estimated 379,100 food-insecure households in Ontario in 2004, 55% were reliant on salaries or wages, 23% on social assistance, and 13% on pensions or seniors' benefits. The prevalence of food insecurity increased markedly as income adequacy declined, rising to 47% in the lowest category of income adequacy. Food insecurity was also more prevalent among tenant households and single-person and single-parent households. When all socio-demographic factors were taken into account, three potent socio-demographic correlates of household food insecurity in Ontario were identified: low income adequacy, social assistance as the main source of income, and not owning one's dwelling. Compared to households whose main source of income was salary or wages, the adjusted odds of experiencing food insecurity was 3.69 (95% CI: 2.33, 5.84) for households reliant on social assistance, but 0.44 (95% CI: 0.29, 0.67) for those reliant on pensions or seniors' benefits.
Our findings highlight the need for more adequate social assistance benefit levels, but also point to the need for better income supports for low-waged workers in Ontario so that they have sufficient financial resources to purchase the food they need.
This study uses a population health intervention modeling approach to project the impact of recent legislated increases in age eligibility for Canadian federally-funded pension benefits on low income seniors' health, using food insecurity as a health indicator.
Food insecurity prevalence and income source were assessed for unattached low income (
Pathways by which food environments affect residents' diet-related outcomes are still unclear. Understanding pathways may help decision makers identify food environment strategies to promote healthy diets.
To examine the hypothesis that residents' perceptions mediate the relationship between objective food environment and residents' diet quality and weight status.
In the Waterloo Region, Ontario, objective food environment data were collected from 422 food stores and 912 restaurants using the Nutrition Environment Measure Survey in Stores and Restaurants, a shelf-space measure of fruits and vegetables, and the Retail Food Environment Index. Waterloo Region households (n=2223) completed a subjective food environment perception survey; household members (n=4102) self-reported weight, height, and waist circumference. A subsample (1170 individuals within 690 households) completed diet records. Food environment data were collected in 2010; respondent data were collected from 2009-2010; and data were analyzed in 2012. A series of gender-specific models were conducted to test mediation, adjusting for household income, car ownership, age, and education level.
Residents' perceptions did not mediate the relationship between objective measures and diet-related outcomes; instead, results revealed the direct effect of several objectively measured factors of the food environment (notably food access and relative food affordability) on outcomes. Perceptions generally were not associated with diet-related outcomes.
These results reveal that in this setting, strategies aimed at improving residents' perceptions may be less effective than those acting directly on food environments to improve food access and relative food affordability.