BACKGROUND: Food insecurity is common in developing countries and is related to the physical well-being of families. Household food insecurity is intended to reflect a household's access, availability, and utilization of food, but its relationship with child mortality has not been well characterized. OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship of a modified household food insecurity score with a history of neonatal, infant, and under-five child mortality. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study of 26,339 rural households in the Indonesian Nutrition Surveillance System, 2000-03, household food insecurity was measured with the use of a modified nine-item food security questionnaire. A simple food insecurity score of O to 9 was calculated based on responses and related to mortality history in the family. RESULTS: The proportion of households with neonatal, infant, and under-five child mortality was 4.6%, 8.8%, and 10.6%, respectively. In households with and without neonatal, infant, and under-five child mortality, the mean (+/- SD) food insecurity scores were 2.19 +/- 1.89 vs. 1.72 +/- 1.65, 2.29 +/- 1.94 vs. 1.69 +/- 1.63, and 2.29 +/- 1.93 vs. 1.68 +/- 1.62 (all p < .0001), respectively. The food insecurity score was related to mortality among neonates (odds ratio [OR], 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.09; p = .003), infants (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.09; p < .0001), and children under five (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.10; p < .0001) after adjustment for potential confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Higher household food insecurity score is associated with greater neonatal, infant, and under-five child mortality among rural families in Indonesia. Greater household food insecurity may signify a higher risk of infant and young child mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Nutrition and Dietetics