Feeding a family in a recession: Food insecurity among Minnesota parents

Meg Bruening, Richard MacLehose, Katie Loth, Mary Story, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: We assessed current levels of food insecurity among a large, diverse sample of parents and examined associations between food insecurity and parental weight status, eating patterns, and the home food environment. Methods: Project F-EAT (Families and Eating and Activity Among Teens) examined the home food environments of adolescents. Parents and caregivers (n=2095) living with adolescents from the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota school districts completed mailed surveys during a 12-month period in 2009-2010. We performed our assessments using multivariate regressions. Results: Almost 39% of the parents and caregivers experienced household food insecurity, whereas 13% experienced very low food security. Food insecurity was significantly associated with poorer nutrition-related variables such as higher rates of parental overweight and obesity, less healthy foods served at meals, and higher rates of binge eating. Food-insecure parents were 2 to 4 times more likely to report barriers to accessing fruits and vegetables. Conclusions: Food insecurity was highly prevalent. Environmental interventions are needed to protect vulnerable families against food insecurity and to improve access to affordable, healthy foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-526
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume102
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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