A conceptual framework showing the household and social implications of food insecurity was elicited from a qualitative and quantitative study of 98 households from a heterogeneous low income population of Quebec city and rural surroundings; the study was designed to increase understanding of the experience of food insecurity in order to contribute to its prevention. According to the respondents' description, the experience of food insecurity is characterized by two categories of manifestations, i.e., the core characteristics of the phenomenon and a related set of actions and reactions by the household. This second category of manifestations is considered here as a first level of consequences of food insecurity. These consequences at the household level often interact with the larger environment to which the household belongs. On a chronic basis, the resulting interactions have certain implications that are tentatively labeled "social implications" in this paper. Their examination suggests that important aspects of human development depend on food security. It also raises questions concerning the nature of socially acceptable practices of food acquisition and food management, and how such acceptability can be assessed. Guidelines to that effect are proposed. Findings underline the relevance and urgency of working toward the realization of the right to food.
To determine the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia among 1-year-old infants of disadvantaged families in Montreal as well as certain predictors of this condition.
Five poorest health districts in Montreal.
Infants 10 to 14 months of age were identified from registration lists of births from May 1988 to August 1989. Those whose mother had less than 11 years of schooling and a family income below the government-defined low-income cutoff point were eligible.
During a home visit capillary blood samples were obtained from the child, and the mother answered a questionnaire about infant-feeding practices. Infants with a serum ferritin level of 10 micrograms/L or less and either a hemoglobin level of 115 g/L or less or a mean corpuscular volume of 72 fL or less were considered as having iron deficiency anemia.
Of the 299 mothers who were eligible and could be located 220 (74%) agreed to participate; 218 blood samples were available. Iron deficiency anemia was found in 25% of the infants (95% confidence interval [CI] 19% to 31%). The mean hemoglobin level was 115 (standard deviation 11) g/L. The serum ferritin level, assessed routinely in the last 62 infants, was 10 micrograms/L or less in 37% of the infants. The factors that were found to be predictors of iron deficiency anemia included the use of whole cow's milk before 6 months of age (odds ratio [OR] 3.56 [95% CI 1.07 to 11.26]) and the use of iron-fortified infant cereal for less than 6 months (OR 3.15 [95% CI 1.25 to 7.96]). A low birth weight and the use of iron-fortified formula for less than 6 months were associated with iron deficiency anemia.
Despite a decrease in the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia among children of disadvantaged families in the United States socioeconomically disadvantaged infants in Montreal are at risk. Preventive measures must be taken to ensure adequate iron status in the first year of life.
Cites: Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Sep;50(3 Suppl):675-84; discussion 685-62773845
Cites: Pediatrics. 1987 Jun;79(6):981-952438638
Cites: Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 1987 Sep;1(3):449-643329182
Cites: Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 Aug;46(2):329-343303900
This study examines the extent to which people forego seeking primary health care due to the cost and to investigate the associated demographic, physical, psychological and social factors. In 1995, questionnaires were sent to a random sample of the population in two healthcare regions in the Stockholm area in Sweden covering a total of about 400,000 inhabitants. Among the sample of 8200 people over the age of 17 yr, 69% replied to the questionnaire. About 22% stated that on one or more occasions during the past year they had foregone seeking care due to the cost. About 30% stated that they had foregone or hesitated seeking medical help due to the cost during the past year. This applied to women to a greater extent than men. Not seeking medical care was strongly correlated to a self-assessment of personal finances. Among those who described their financial situation as poor, more than half stated that, on at least one occasion, they had foregone seeking medical care due to the cost. As a consequence, weaker groups in society such as the unemployed, students, foreign nationals and single mothers were overrepresented in this group. Those who had foregone care perceive their health as worse and they had a greater degree of general pains and a higher occurrence of chronic disease/disability compared to those who had not foregone care. Between 1970 and 1995, patient charges for consulting a general practitioner within Stockholm County have increased more than three times faster than the consumer price index. The results suggest that the rapidly increasing patient charges particularly affect the weaker social groups and thus pose a threat to the aim of Swedish healthcare legislation--that good care should be available to everyone on equal terms.
One of the essential elements of the "Programme intégré de prévention en périnatalité--Naître-égaux-Grandir-en-san t" (Born Equal--Brought up Healthy) is to have a health professional offering general support to pregnant women living in poverty. This research is based on a secondary analysis of the transcriptions of interviews done in order to implement the program. The thematic content analysis was employed to analyze the women's perception of the support provided by the health professional, the relationship between client-professional, and the perceptions of these women about the impact that the social support had on their pregnancy experience. The categories of support that emerged from the analysis are: information support, emotional support, instrumental support, changing life style support, recreational support, and availability of support. The categories of impact perceived by the participants are: learning, changes in life style, to be in a good mood, and the use of community resources. A key element in the perception of support by the participants is the establishment of a relationship of trust between professional and client. This relationship of trust is important to the development of intimacy and to foster the perception of a more intense kind of support. Hence social support and the relationship of trust work in synergy and reinforce each other.
The relation between "poverty and mental health" has long been established. However, the dynamic underlying the relation between social and psychic processes has received much less attention. This article presents certain preliminary results of research whose aim is to promote the emergence of the multiple dimensions behind the problematic of mental health in social conditions characterized by extreme poverty. In addition, the authors base their approach on the assumption that human beings, even underprivileged, are very active players, and explore the strategies that are hereby developed in order to maintain or recover their equilibrium.
Increased understanding of the early determinants of obesity is essential because of the increasing prevalence of obesity in many industrialized countries.
As part of the evaluation of a school-based heart health promotion intervention, we measured height, weight, and triceps skinfold thickness at baseline in 2108 students aged 9-12 years (80.5% of eligible students) in 24 inner-city elementary schools located in multiethnic, low income neighbourhoods in Montreal, Canada. Data on student's socio-demographic and lifestyle characteristics were collected in classroom-administered questionnaires, and parents completed an at-home self-administered questionnaire.
Overall, 35.2% of boys and 33.0% of girls were overweight (> or = 85th age and gender-specific percentiles from NHANES 11, for body mass index and triceps skinfold thickness); 15.1% of boys and 13.3% of girls were obese (> or = 95th age and gender-specific percentiles for body mass index and triceps skinfold thickness). Younger age, having lived all one's life in Canada, and being of European or Central American/Caribbean family origin were independent correlates of obesity in boys. Younger age, ever smoked, mother obese and father obese were independent correlates of obesity in girls. Girls of Asian family origin were protected.
The very high prevalence of overweight students in this low income, multiethnic population suggests an important need for preventive intervention.
This article presents a preliminary study, a descriptive one, on the sexual intercourse precocity rates at adolescence. 765 male adolescents francophones, 13 years old, from low economic status answered the QAS, questionnaire on aspects of sexual life including. The results show that 11.3% of subjects are sexually active by 13 years old. The first sexual partner is known from many months to many years from the majority of subjects. The majority (61.8%) of the non-sexually active subjects of the research would be near to transit to the first sexual intercourse if we consider the results of our predictive measure of the transition. Discussed at the light of the literature, these results show that early sexual behaviors are: 1) a concrete reality for an important proportion of male adolescents from low economic status; 2) to consider in the future in terms of research priority.