Food Insecurity, Social Capital and Perceived Personal Disparity in a Predominantly Rural Region of Texas: An Individual-Level Analysis

Program for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities, Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, MS 1266, College Station, TX 77843-1266, United States.
Social Science [?] Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.89). 05/2011; 72(9):1454-62. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.03.015
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Few studies have addressed the association of food insecurity with place of residence and perceptions of collective social functioning such as perceived social capital and perceived personal disparity. This study assessed the association between food insecurity and measures of perceived personal disparity and perceived social capital in a region of Central Texas, USA comprised of one urban and six rural counties. Food insecurity, perceived social capital, perceived personal disparity, and sociodemographic control measures were derived from the 2006 Brazos Valley Community Health Assessment on an analytic sample of 1803 adult participants (74% response rate). Robust multinomial regression models examined associations between food insecurity and perceived personal disparity, perceived social capital, education, age, residence in a poor or low-income household, minority group membership, and rural residence. A model was estimated for food insecurity (n = 1803, p < 0.0001). Residents with low social capital, higher levels of perceived personal disparity, rural residence, residence in a low-income or poor household, minority group membership, and lower levels of educational attainment were more likely to experience food insecurity. Rural residence (p = 0.021) was significant only for the comparison between those who never, and those who often experienced food insecurity, and findings for the stratified rural and urban samples were roughly equivalent to the combined sample. Individual level measures of collective social functioning are important correlates of food insecurity. In this study, both perceived personal disparity and perceived social capital play an important role, regardless of rural or urban residence.

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Available from: Wesley Dean, Sep 26, 2015
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    • "Such policies must be contextually appropriate [47,57]. Many of the clusters appearing in the concept maps are similar to extant conceptual models that describe food choice, food security, and nutritional environments [2,63], but within each cluster there are additional ideas that are unique to rural areas. These can provide direction to rural food policy researchers and are currently serving as a basis for the ongoing work of the NOPREN RFAWG. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Policies that improve access to healthy, affordable foods may improve population health and reduce health disparities. In the United States most food access policy research focuses on urban communities even though residents of rural communities face disproportionately higher risk for nutrition-related chronic diseases compared to residents of urban communities. The purpose of this study was to (1) identify the factors associated with access to healthy, affordable food in rural communities in the United States; and (2) prioritize a meaningful and feasible rural food policy research agenda. Methods This study was conducted by the Rural Food Access Workgroup (RFAWG), a workgroup facilitated by the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network. A national sample of academic and non-academic researchers, public health and cooperative extension practitioners, and other experts who focus on rural food access and economic development was invited to complete a concept mapping process that included brainstorming the factors that are associated with rural food access, sorting and organizing the factors into similar domains, and rating the importance of policies and research to address these factors. As a last step, RFAWG members convened to interpret the data and establish research recommendations. Results Seventy-five participants in the brainstorming exercise represented the following sectors: non-extension research (n = 27), non-extension program administration (n = 18), “other” (n = 14), policy advocacy (n = 10), and cooperative extension service (n = 6). The brainstorming exercise generated 90 distinct statements about factors associated with rural food access in the United States; these were sorted into 5 clusters. Go Zones were established for the factors that were rated highly as both a priority policy target and a priority for research. The highest ranked policy and research priorities include strategies designed to build economic viability in rural communities, improve access to federal food and nutrition assistance programs, improve food retail systems, and increase the personal food production capacity of rural residents. Respondents also prioritized the development of valid and reliable research methodologies to measure variables associated with rural food access. Conclusions This collaborative, trans-disciplinary, participatory process, created a map to guide and prioritize research about polices to improve healthy, affordable food access in rural communities.
    BMC Public Health 06/2014; 14(1):592. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-592 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    • "Most reports on food insecurity have been based on parental reports (1–5,9). However, it is important also to study associations with food insecurity as perceived by the children themselves. "
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    ABSTRACT: In vulnerable populations, food security in children has been found to be associated with negative health effects. Still, little is known about whether the negative health effects can be retrieved in children at the population level. To examine food insecurity reported by Greenlandic school children as a predictor for perceived health, physical symptoms and medicine use. The study is based on the Greenlandic part of the Health Behavior in School-aged Children survey. The 2010 survey included 2,254 students corresponding to 40% of all Greenlandic school children in Grade 5 through 10. The participation rate in the participating schools was 65%. Food insecurity was measured as going to bed or to school hungry because there was no food at home. Boys, the youngest children (11-12 year-olds), and children from low affluence homes were at increased risk for food insecurity. Poor or fair self-rated health, medicine use last month and physical symptoms during the last 6 months were all more frequent in children reporting food insecurity. Controlling for age, gender and family affluence odds ratio (OR) for self-rated health was 1.60 (95% confidence interval (CI 1.23-2.06) (p<0.001), for reporting physical symptoms 1.34 (95% CI 1.06-1.68) (p=0.01) and for medicine use 1.79 (95% CI 1.42-2.26) (p<0.001). Stratification on age groups suggested that children in different age groups experience different health consequences of food insecurity. The oldest children reported food insecurity less often and experienced less negative health effects compared to the younger children. All 3 measures of health were negatively associated to the occurrence of food insecurity in Greenlandic school children aged 11-17. Food security must be seen as a public health issue of concern, and policies should be enforced to prevent food poverty particularly among boys, younger school children and children from low affluence homes.
    08/2013; 72. DOI:10.3402/ijch.v72i0.20849
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    • "Associations for living location have been more consistent, with findings pointing towards a protective effect of rural living [19,36,38-42]. There have been, on the other hand, studies that have had opposite [31] or null findings [30,43,44]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Food insecurity is a significant public health problem in North America and elsewhere. The prevalence of food insecurity varies by country of residence; within countries, it is strongly associated with household socioeconomic status, but the local environment may also play an important role. In this study, we analyzed secondary data from a population-based survey conducted in Québec, Canada, to determine if five local environmental factors: material and social deprivation, social cohesion, disorder, and living location were associated with changes in household food insecurity over a period of 6 years, while adjusting for household socioeconomic status (SES) and other factors. Methods Data from the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development, following same-aged children from 4–10 y of age, were analyzed using generalized estimating equations, to determine the longitudinal association between these environmental factors and food insecurity over a period of 6 years. Results Of the 2120 children originally included in the cohort, 1746 (82%) were included in the present analysis. The prevalence of food insecurity was 9.2% when children were 4 y of age (95% CI: 7.8 – 10.6%) but no significant changes were observed over time. On average over the 6 year period, three environmental factors were positively related to food insecurity: high social deprivation (OR 1.62, 95%CI: 1.16 – 2.26), low social cohesion (OR 1.45 95%CI: 1.10 – 1.92), and high disorder (OR 1.76, 95%CI: 1.37 – 2.27), while living location and material deprivation were not related to food insecurity. These associations were independent of household SES and other social variables. Conclusion These results highlight the potential role of the local social environment in preventing and ameliorating food insecurity at the household level. Stakeholders providing food security interventions at the community level should consider interactions with local social characteristics and perhaps changing the social environment itself. Further intervention research also examining interactions with household-level factors could lead to the development of interventions that increase both household and community-level food security.
    BMC Public Health 11/2012; 12(1):1038. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1038 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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