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Title: Food Insecurity is Related to Home Availability of Fruit, 100% Fruit Juice, and Vegetables

item Cullen, Karen
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe

Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: Cullen, K., Watson, K., Thompson, D.J., Lara-Smalling, A. 2008. Food insecurity is related to home availability of fruit, 100% fruit juice, and vegetables [abstract]. Seventh Annual Conference of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, May 21-24, 2008, Banff, Alberta, Canada. p. 114.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Household food security is defined as access to enough food at all times for active, healthy living. Low food security may influence consumption because those households may lack sufficient resources to purchase more healthful items like fruit and vegetables. Because home availability is related to consumption, this study assessed whether the home availability of fruit, 100% fruit juice, and vegetables was related to household food security status. Low income participants (n=1114) attending Expanded Nutrition Program classes in 3 Texas cities completed the USDA 6-Item Food Security Scale, assessing household food security over the past 12 months, and reported home availability of 18 fruits, 4 100% fruit juices, and 16 vegetables in the past week. The percentage of available items was calculated. ANOVAs by food security status were performed, adjusting for participant age, number of children, monthly income, and number of assistance programs. Most participants were Hispanic (90%) and female (97%). About 38% reported low food security, and 10% reported very low food security. The remainder reported being food secure (52%). Households with very low food security reported significantly lower availability of fruit (51 vs 41%), 100% fruit juice (56 vs 44%), and vegetables (63 vs 55%), compared with food secure households. These results suggest that food insecurity may impact fruit, 100% fruit juice, and vegetable consumption because of lower home availability of these items. Interventions for low income families should include identifying low-cost fruit and vegetables, and may need to address other issues like menu planning and shopping tips.