Food insecurity increases odds of diabetes and hypertension, not obesity in medically underserved region

Meagan Helmick, Teresa M. Smith, Courtney A. Parks, Jennie L Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


This paper describes the levels of household food insecurity in the region to determine if differences exist between socio-demographics of the sample. Further, it tests if the increased prevalence of chronic diseases and obesity among food insecure households demonstrated in previous studies is true for this region. Utilizing a regional baseline survey, logistic regression models were performed to determine the relationship between household food insecurity and body mass index or chronic disease. There were significant socio-demographic differences among food insecure and food secure respondents in the region. After adjusting for covariates, food insecurity was significantly related to increased odds of hypertension (OR = 1.77, p = 0.001) and diabetes (OR = 1.51, p = 0.038), but not overweight/obesity (OR = 1.39, p = 0.067). Utilizing food assistance, like food pantries, to implement targeted interventions could help reduce both food insecurity and chronic disease in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-139
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2020



  • Food insecurity
  • Virginia
  • diabetes
  • hypertension
  • obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this