The relationship between dietary patterns, body mass index percentile, and household food security in young urban children.Child Obes. 2015 Apr; 11(2):148-55.CO
The relationship between food insecurity and child obesity is unclear. Few studies have examined dietary patterns in children with regard to household food security and weight status. The aim of this study was to examine the association between household food security, dietary intake, and BMI percentile in low-income, preschool children.
Low-income caregivers (n=222) with children ages 2-4 years were enrolled in a primary-care-based obesity prevention/reversal study (Steps to Growing Up Healthy) between October 2010 and December 2011. At baseline, demographic data, household food security status (US Household Food Security Instrument) and dietary intake (Children's Dietary Questionnaire; CDQ) were collected. BMI percentile was calculated from anthropometric data.
Participating children were primarily Hispanic (90%), Medicaid insured (95%), 50% female, 35±8.7 months of age (mean±standard deviation), 19% overweight (BMI 85th-94th percentile), and 29% obese (≥95th percentile). Thirty-eight percent of interviews were conducted in Spanish. Twenty-five percent of households reported food insecurity. There was no association between household food insecurity and child BMI percentile. Dietary patterns of the children based on the CDQ did not differ by household food security status. Food group subscale scores (fruit and vegetable, fat from dairy, sweetened beverages, and noncore foods) on the CDQ did not differ between normal weight and overweight/obese children. Maternal depression and stress did not mediate the relationship between household food insecurity and child weight status. Hispanic children were more likely to be overweight or obese in both food-secure and food-insecure households.
Household food insecurity was not associated with child BMI percentile in this study. Dietary intake patterns of children from food-insecure households were not different compared to those from food-secure households.