Household food security and infant adiposity

Sara E. Benjamin-Neelon, Carter Allen, Brian Neelon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Food insecurity has been associated with obesity, but previous studies are inconsistent and few included infants. We examined associations between household food security and infant adiposity and assessed the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as effect modifiers. We hypothesized that infants from food-insecure households would have greater adiposity, with attenuation by WIC and SNAP. METHODS: We repeatedly measured 666 infants from the southeastern United States in 2013-2017. We categorized households as high, marginal, low, or very low using the US Household Food Security Survey Module. Outcomes were BMI z score, subscapular and triceps skinfold-for-age z score, the sum of subscapular and triceps skinfolds, the ratio of subscapular and triceps skinfolds, and BMI z score $1 (at risk for overweight). We used covariate-adjusted repeated-measures linear and logistic regressions. RESULTS: Of infants, 68.6% were Black and 60.5% had household incomes,$20 000. Interactions between food security and WIC and/or SNAP were not significant. Compared with infants from high food security households, infants from very low food security households had higher BMI z scores (0.18 U; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.01 to 0.35), higher subscapular skinfold-for-age z scores (0.31 U; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.59), a higher sum of subscapular and triceps skinfolds (0.53 mm; 95% CI 0.002 to 1.07), and greater odds of being at risk for overweight (odds ratio 1.55; 95% CI 1.14 to 2.10). Infants from low food security households had greater odds of being at risk for overweight (odds ratio 1.72; 95% CI 1.17 to 2.10). CONCLUSIONS: In larger and longer studies, researchers should examine food security and adiposity in young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20193725
JournalPediatrics
Volume146
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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