Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies

Document Type

Report

Publication Date

6-2016

Abstract

Introduction: This report examines the relation between weight and food insecurity in the United States between 2011 and 2014.

Methods: The data used in this report come from the Integrated Health Interview Services (IHIS) and its food security index. Weight is assessed by body mass index, and the population is divided into four weight groups based on body mass index ranges.

Results: First, food insecurity rates declined among the general population of Latinos between 2011 and 2014, however, food insecurity rates rose dramatically among underweight Latinos over that time period. Second, food insecurity rates were greatest among the obese and the underweight in the total population, but insecurity rates declined among all weight groups between 2011 and 2014. Third, the Latino and non-Hispanic black populations had substantially higher food insecurity rates than the non-Hispanic white and Asian populations.

Discussion: According to the analyses, women, Latinos, and non-Hispanic blacks experienced higher food insecurity rates than men, non-Hispanic whites, and Asians. Food insecurity rates were higher among the obese and the underweight than normal weight and overweight people. Based on these results, future work should investigate several considerations. First, it is important to analyze the patterns of spatial access to food sources. Second, there is a need to better understand how different cultural, cuisine traditions affect food insecurity and body mass index. Finally, research should examine the efficacy of policies that promote good food habits, like having a balanced diet and promoting access to healthy food.

 
 

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