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


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Wesley Dean,
    • "Food security is defined as 'all people obtaining a culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet, through non-emergency food sources at all times' (US House Select Committee on Hunger 1989, p. 4). Food security has been identified as an important issue for elderly people's quality of life and ageing in place (Wolfe et al. 1998, Quandt et al. 2001, Sharkey 2005, Dean & Sharkey 2011). More recent research emphasises aspects of being safe, nutritious, timely available, as well as socially and culturally acceptable (Anderson 1990, Frongillo & Horan 2004). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Food security has been identified as an important issue for elderly people's quality of life and ageing in place. A food security index composed of three indicators (food intake, food quality and food affordability) was developed to measure the food security status of community-living elderly people. Food security was then examined among community-living elderly in the central urban districts of Beijing, China. Data were collected by a questionnaire survey in the summer of 2013 and the response rate was 78.5%. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were applied to analyse food security and the associations between food security and demographic and socioeconomic factors. The results showed that 54.2% of the surveyed elderly experienced food security. Participants with better education (OR = 1.68) and better health (OR = 1.47) were more likely to experience food security. The young-old were less likely to experience food security than the older old (OR = 0.94). Elderly people who lived with their children were less likely to experience food security than those who lived alone (OR = 0.43). The results of impact factors on food security highlight both similarities with studies from more developed countries and the unique challenges faced in a rapidly changing China with its unique social, cultural and political systems. The food security index we developed in this study is a simple and effective measure of food security status, which can be used in surveys for evaluating the food security status of elderly people in the future. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Health & Social Care in the Community 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/hsc.12255 · 1.15 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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
Show more