Household water insecurity is strongly associated with food insecurity: Evidence from 27 sites in low- and middle-income countries

Household Water Insecurity Experiences – Research Coordination Network (HWISE-RCN)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: Food and water insecurity have both been demonstrated as acute and chronic stressors and undermine human health and development. A basic untested proposition is that they chronically coexist, and that household water insecurity is a fundamental driver of household food insecurity. Methods: We provide a preliminary assessment of their association using cross-sectional data from 27 sites with highly diverse forms of water insecurity in 21 low- and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas (N = 6691 households). Household food insecurity and its subdomains (food quantity, food quality, and anxiety around food) were estimated using the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale; water insecurity and subdomains (quantity, quality, and opportunity costs) were estimated based on similar self-reported data. Results: In multilevel generalized linear mixed-effect modeling (GLMM), composite water insecurity scores were associated with higher scores for all subdomains of food insecurity. Rural households were better buffered against water insecurity effects on food quantity and urban ones for food quality. Similarly, higher scores for all subdomains of water insecurity were associated with greater household food insecurity. Conclusions: Considering the diversity of sites included in the modeling, the patterning supports a basic theory: household water insecurity chronically coexists with household food insecurity. Water insecurity is a more plausible driver of food insecurity than the converse. These findings directly challenge development practices in which household food security interventions are often enacted discretely from water security ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere23309
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Biology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Food Supply
nutrition situation
food security
households
income
water
food
Water
evidence
Food Quality
food quality
Food
driver
household
opportunity costs
Middle East
human development
Human Development
anxiety
human health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Household water insecurity is strongly associated with food insecurity : Evidence from 27 sites in low- and middle-income countries. / Household Water Insecurity Experiences – Research Coordination Network (HWISE-RCN).

In: American Journal of Human Biology, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Objectives: Food and water insecurity have both been demonstrated as acute and chronic stressors and undermine human health and development. A basic untested proposition is that they chronically coexist, and that household water insecurity is a fundamental driver of household food insecurity. Methods: We provide a preliminary assessment of their association using cross-sectional data from 27 sites with highly diverse forms of water insecurity in 21 low- and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas (N = 6691 households). Household food insecurity and its subdomains (food quantity, food quality, and anxiety around food) were estimated using the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale; water insecurity and subdomains (quantity, quality, and opportunity costs) were estimated based on similar self-reported data. Results: In multilevel generalized linear mixed-effect modeling (GLMM), composite water insecurity scores were associated with higher scores for all subdomains of food insecurity. Rural households were better buffered against water insecurity effects on food quantity and urban ones for food quality. Similarly, higher scores for all subdomains of water insecurity were associated with greater household food insecurity. Conclusions: Considering the diversity of sites included in the modeling, the patterning supports a basic theory: household water insecurity chronically coexists with household food insecurity. Water insecurity is a more plausible driver of food insecurity than the converse. These findings directly challenge development practices in which household food security interventions are often enacted discretely from water security ones.",
author = "{Household Water Insecurity Experiences – Research Coordination Network (HWISE-RCN)} and Alexandra Brewis and Cassandra Workman and Amber Wutich and Wendy Jepson and Sera Young and Ellis Adams and Ahmed, {Jam Farooq} and Mallika Alexander and Mobolanle Balogun and Michael Boivin and Genny Carrillo and Kelly Chapman and Stroma Cole and Shalean Collins and Luisa Figueroa and Matthew Freeman and Asiki Gershim and Hala Ghattas and Ashley Hagaman and Zeina Jamaluddine and Wendy Jepson and Desire Tshala-Katumbay and Divya Krishnakumar and Kenneth Maes and Jyoti Mathad and Jonathan Maupin and Patrick Mbullo and Joshua Miller and Muslin, {Ica Martin} and Monet Niesluchowski and Nasrin Omidvar and Amber Pearson and Hugo Melgar-Qui{\~n}onez and Cuauhtemoc Sanchez-Rodr{\'i}guez and Asher Rosinger and Santoso, {Marianne Vicky} and Roseanne Schuster and Sonali Srivastava and Chad Staddon and Justin Stoler and Andrea Sullivan and Yihenew Tesfaye and Nathaly Trivi{\~n}o and Alex Trowell and Raymond Tutu and Jorge Escobar-Vargar and Hassan Zinab",
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