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Association Between Food Insecurity and Serious Psychological Distress Among Hispanic Adults Living in Poverty
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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Introduction Food insecurity has been associated with negative health outcomes, but the relationship between psychological distress and food insecurity among ethnic minorities has not been extensively examined in the literature. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether low food security and very low food security were significantly associated with past month serious psychological distress (SPD) among Hispanic adults living in poverty. Methods We studied 10,966 Hispanic respondents to the California Health Interview Survey for 2007, 2009, and 2011–2012 whose income was below 200% of the federal poverty level. The relationship between food insecurity and SPD was evaluated by using survey-weighted univariate and logistic regression analyses. Results Nearly 30% of the study population had low food security and 13% had very low food security. Low food security and very low food security were associated with 1.99 and 4.43 odds of past month SPD, respectively, and perceived low neighborhood safety was related to 1.47 odds of past month SPD. Conclusions We found that food insecurity was prevalent among Hispanic people living in poverty and was significantly associated with past month SPD. These results demonstrate the need for further targeted public health efforts, such as community gardens led by promotores, faith-based initiatives, and initiatives to reduce barriers to participation in food-assistance programs.
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