Prevalence and Predictors of Household Food Insecurity among Adult/Youth Dyads at the Initiation of the iCook 4-H Two-Year Obesity Prevention Study

Objective: Determine food insecurity prevalence and predictors among adult/youth dyads enrolled in a childhood obesity prevention study (iCook 4-H).

Methods: The iCook 4-H intervention was designed for youth (9-10 years old) and their adult main meals preparer to cook, eat, and play together. Although not an inclusion criteria, diverse, low income, and/or rural families were the target during recruitment. At baseline, adults completed surveys on food insecurity, socioeconomic and demographic characteristics and youth anthropometrics were collected with body mass index (BMI) calculated. Descriptive statistics were computed and chi-square analysis was conducted to test differences between potential predictors and food insecurity. Binomial logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between food insecurity and its predictors.

Results: Thirty-four percent of households (n=71 of 206) were food insecure. Youth were primarily white (69.9%) and normal weight (58.3%). Adults were also primarily white (74.8%), overweight or obese (67.9%), married (68.9%), not participating in government assistance programs (57.8%), and held no college degree (55.3%). Based on the logistic regression model, households with a non-white youth (OR=13.53; 95% CI=3.33, 55.05), an adult without a college degree (OR=5.62; 95% CI=2.01, 15.73), and government assistance program participation (OR=5.63; 95% CI=2.63, 12.07) were significantly associated with household food insecurity. However, there was no significant association with BMI found (youth p=0.167; adult p=0.179).

Conclusion: Consistent with previous findings, household food insecurity status was associated with youth race, adult education, and government assistance program participation. In contrast, no relationship between BMI and food insecurity status was observed in this study, which warrants further investigation.


McElrone M, Colby SE, Franzen-Castle L, Olfert MD, Kattelmann K, White A

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