Prevalence of Food Insecurity and Its Association with Maternal and Child Anthropometric Indices and Socioeconomic Status and Dietary Intake in low- income Households in Golshahr District, Mashhad in 2014

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Nutrition, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences Ghaem Hospital, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Student Research Committee, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

3 Department of Community Nutrition, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti,University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

5 Metabolic Syndrome Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: The relation between the anthropometric status of household members and food insecurity is complicated and not clearly defined. The current study aimed to examine the prevalence of food insecurity (FI) and its association with maternal and child anthropometric indices and dietary intake in a low-income district located in the northeast of Iran. Methods: This cross-sectional survey was conducted on 400 representative households. The participants were mothers of children aged ≤6 years. Food security with 18-item USDA questionnaire, anthropometric status of mothers and children was measured by measuring weight and height dietary intake with food frequency questionnaire. Results: Fifty-eight percent of households were food insecure. No correlation was denoted between food insecurity and anthropometric indices, except for maternal height (P=0.02). After adjustment for the other variables, food insecurity was inversely correlated with maternal age (OR: 1.12; 95% CI: 1.06-1.19), maternal education level (OR: 8.41; 95% CI: 1.89-37.46), the employment status of the spouse (OR: 4.28; 95% CI: 2.02-9.05), socioeconomic status (OR: 12.86; 95% CI: 4.84-34.16), and the number of children aged ≤6 years (OR: 2.83; 95% CI: 1.16-6.80). The mean carbohydrate, fat, energy and folic acid consumption were observed to be lower in the food insecure mothers (P<0.05), while the mean intake of fruits was higher in the food-secure mothers (P<0.001). Conclusion: Women in households with a low socioeconomic status were at an elevated risk of food insecurity and micronutrient deficiencies.


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