The association of food security with psychological distress in New Zealand and any gender differences
Food security (access to safe, nutritious, affordable food) is intrinsically linked to feelings of stress or distress and it is strongly associated with socioeconomic factors. However, the impact of food insecurity on mental health, independent of confounding socioeconomic factors, is not clear. We investigated the association of food insecurity with psychological distress in New Zealand, controlling for socioeconomic factors. Secondarily, we examined the association in males and females. We used data from the Survey of Families, Income and Employment (SoFIE) (NÂ =Â 18,955). Respondents were classified as food insecure if, in the last 12 months, they: used special food grants/banks, had to buy cheaper food to pay for other things, or went without fresh fruit and vegetables often. Psychological distress was measured using the Kessler-10 scale dichotomised at low (10-15) and moderate to high (16+). Logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the association of food insecurity with psychological distress using a staged modelling approach. Interaction models included an interaction between food security and gender, as well as interactions between gender and all other covariates (significant at p-valueÂ
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Volume (Year): 72 (2011)
Issue (Month): 9 (May)
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- Maes, Kenneth C. & Hadley, Craig & Tesfaye, Fikru & Shifferaw, Selamawit, 2010. "Food insecurity and mental health: Surprising trends among community health volunteers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the 2008 food crisis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1450-1457, May.
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