Master of Science
Department or Program
About 49 million Americans – roughly 15% of entire America - live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. Past experiences and fear of food accessibility could affect the quality of diet and eating behavior in many ways. In this study we examine long-term trends in food insecurity and obesity over a 6-year period. We specifically examine the changing role of health behaviors in the association between food insecurity and obesity. Most studies on this topic have conducted cross-sectional analysis. Examining this association over time would help us make more careful considerations in making policies. Until recently, it was assumed that the only reason for being overweight was excessive eating. Food insecurity could also cause weight gain due to adverse social and physical environments with identifiable risk factors. It is imperative to know that food security and poverty are both forms of material deficit which bring about a range of detrimental results such as excess weight gain. Food insecurity is a continuum of experiences ranging from the most extreme form, starvation, to complete food security. Changes in food security status can be temporary, cyclical, medium or long term.