This study measured food security and hunger of households involved in Head Start in a rural Appalachian county and assessed factors that could affect food security and hunger. A convenience sample of households with children enrolled in the Head Start program in Athens County, Ohio, were sampled (n=710), with adults from 297 (42%) households responding. The survey instrument included the 18-question US Household Food Security Survey Module for measuring hunger and food insecurity. Of those responding, 152 households (51.2%) were food secure and 145 (48.8%) were food insecure. Ninety (30.3%) had experienced hunger in the previous 12 months, and 41 (13.8%) households were classified as food insecure with childhood hunger. Hunger was related to a variety of household characteristics and associated with several factors, including participation in food banks, dependence on family members and friends outside of the household for food, lacking reliable transportation, and not having a garden.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Millions of U.S. households experienced hunger in 2005 and millions more experienced food insecurity. Previous research indicates that low-wage work and little social support contribute to food insecurity. Research also suggests that individuals cope by finding alternate food sources and drawing on social support. Further, researchers have found that rural residents face difficulties that many urbanites do not, including lack of living-wage jobs, transportation, and nutrition assistance. However, rural dwellers may possess support they can leverage in difficult times. This study used mixed methods (i.e., quantitative and qualitative) to examine whether social support moderates the relationship between income and food insecurity and whether place of residence affects social support. First, a mail survey was conducted with a stratified random sample of Oregonians (n=343, 34.4% response rate). Subsequently, qualitative interviews (n = 25) were conducted with low-income or food insecure survey respondents to provide insight into these issues. Quantitative results indicate that lower income respondents were more likely to experience food insecurity. In general, social support did not moderate the relationship between income and food insecurity. When income was categorized using poverty guidelines, however, results suggested that emotional support, social network support, and organization membership may moderate this relationship. Specifically, respondents with incomes of _<$19,999 were less likely to experience food insecurity in the presence of this support. However, small sample sizes in the _<$19,999 income category resulted in unstable estimates of odds ratios (e.g., 4136.79). When income was recategorized to remedy this, the moderation disappeared. Additionally, place of residence had a significant association with only one social support measure, social network density. Rural respondents had less dense social networks than urban respondents. Place of residence was not a significant predictor of amount of social support via multivariate analysis. Several food insecurity contributors emerged from the qualitative study phase including ill health, unemployment, and having other expenses. Participants cited coping strategies such as use of alternate food sources, use of nutrition assistance, and drawing on social support. Although few significant quantitative results were found, qualitative findings suggest that developing nutrition interventions that build social support may lead to reduced food insecurity. Printout. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Oregon State University, 2008. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 191-212).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Household food insecurity is higher among minority households in the U.S., but few data exist on households of recent minority immigrants, in part because such households are difficult to sample. Four studies of a total of 317 Latino immigrant families were conducted in different regions and during different seasons in North Carolina. A Spanish translation of the 18-item U.S. Food Security Survey Module was used to assess the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger. In 3 of the studies, a total of 76 in-depth interviews were conducted to gather information on immigrants' experiences of food insecurity. Households in the 4 studies classified as food secure ranged from 28.7 to 50.9%, compared with 82.4% in the U.S. in 2004. Food insecurity without hunger ranged from 35.6% to 41.8%, compared with 13.3% in the U.S. The highest rates of hunger reported were 18.8% (moderate hunger) and 16.8% (severe hunger) in an urban sample. Qualitative data indicate that food insecurity has both quantitative and qualitative effects on diet. Immigrants experience adverse psychological effects of food insecurity. They report experiencing a period of adjustment to food insecurity leading to empowerment to resolve the situation. Reactions to food insecurity differ from those reported by others, possibly because immigrants encounter a new and not chronic situation. Overall, these findings suggest that immigrant Latinos experience significant levels of food insecurity that are not addressed by current governmental programs.
Journal of Nutrition 11/2006; 136(10):2638-44. · 3.88 Impact Factor
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