Cigarette Smoking and Food Insecurity Among Low-Income Families in the United States, 2001

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, Mail Stop E-88, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.
American journal of health promotion: AJHP (Impact Factor: 2.37). 07/2008; 22(6):386-92. DOI: 10.4278/ajhp.22.6.386
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To quantify the association between food insecurity and smoking among low-income families.
A retrospective study using data from the 2001 Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), a longitudinal study of a representative sample of U.S. men, women, and children and the family units in which they reside.
Low-income families.
Family income was linked with U.S. poverty thresholds to identify 2099 families living near or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Food insecurity (i.e., having insufficient funds to purchase enough food to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle) was calculated from the 18-core-item food security module of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Current smoking status was determined.
Smoking prevalence was higher among low-income families who were food insecure compared with low-income families who were food secure (43.6% vs. 31.9%; p < .01). Multivariate analysis revealed that smoking was associated with an increase in food insecurity of approximately six percentage points (p < .01).
Given our finding that families near the federal poverty level spend a large share of their income on cigarettes, perhaps it would be prudent for food-assistance and tobacco-control programs to work together to help low-income people quit smoking.

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    ABSTRACT: Using data from the 1999-2002 rounds of the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the inter-relationships between food insecurity, diet quality and body mass index (BMI) were examined. The impact of smoking and alcohol consumption behaviors were also examined. The relationship between BMI and food insecurity was found to be sensitive to the specification of control variables, such as age, income, and race and ethnicity. Smoking was directly associated with lower BMI for both men and women; while alcohol consumption was directly associated with lower BMI only for men. Smoking negatively affected food insecurity and diet quality, as measured by the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). For women, these indirect effects were statistically significant and positive, but extremely small in magnitude compared to the direct effect. For both men and women, level of physical activity was found to be a much more important determinant of body weight than smoking, drinking, and food insecurity. For women, race had a more important impact on body weight than smoking or drinking.
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the associations between adult food insecurity (FI) and percentage body fat (%BF) and BMI, stratified by height (HT). %BF, HT and BMI of 2117 men and 1909 women in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002 were analysed in relation to adult food security status using multiple regression procedures. Compared with the fully food-secure, men's %BF, BMI and HT were lower as FI intensified. Marginal food security among women was associated with 1.3 cm shorter HT, P = 0.016. Marginal food security among women who were below median HT was associated with about 2.0 kg/m2 higher BMI, P = 0.042. %BF was not associated with FI among women. FI is associated with shorter HT and lower %BF and BMI in men. Women's HT should be considered in the reported associations between FI and higher BMI.
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