TitleUrban-rural and regional variability in the prevalence of food insecurity: the survey of the health of Wisconsin.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsGuerrero, N, Walsh, MC, Malecki, KC, F. Nieto, J
Date Published08/2014
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Female, Food Supply, Health Surveys, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Rural Population, Socioeconomic Factors, Urban Population, Wisconsin

BACKGROUND: Food insecurity is a public health concern estimated to affect 18 million American households nationally, which can result in chronic nutritional deficiencies and other health risks. The relationships between food insecurity and specific demographic and geographic factors in Wisconsin are not well documented. The goals of this paper are to investigate sociodemographic and geographic features associated with food insecurity in a representative sample of Wisconsin adults.

METHODS: This study used data from the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin (SHOW). SHOW annually collects health-related data on a representative sample of Wisconsin residents. Between 2008-2012, 2,947 participants were enrolled in the SHOW study. The presence of food insecurity was defined based on the participant's affirmative answer to the question "In the last 12 months, have you been concerned about having enough food for you or your family?"

RESULTS: After adjustment for age, race, and gender, 13.2% (95% CI, 10.8%-15.1%) of participants reported food insecurity, 56.7% (95% CI, 50.6%-62.7%) of whom were female. Food insecurity did not statistically differ by region (P = 0.30). The adjusted prevalence of food insecurity in the urban core, other urban, and rural areas was 14.1%, 6.5%, and 10.5%, respectively. These differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.13) and, for urban core and rural areas, persisted even when accounting for level of economic hardship in the community.

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of food insecurity is substantial, affecting an estimated 740,000 or more Wisconsin residents. The prevalence was similarly high in all urbanicity levels and across all state public health regions in Wisconsin. Food insecurity is a common problem with potentially serious health consequences affecting populations across the entire state.

Alternate JournalWMJ
PubMed ID25211799
PubMed Central IDPMC4245074
Grant ListUL1 TR000427 / TR / NCATS NIH HHS / United States
1 RC2 HL101468 / RC / CCR NIH HHS / United States
T32 GM008692 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
RC2 HL101468 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
UL1 RR025011 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
P2C HD047873 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States