Food Security Status and Produce Intake Behaviors, Health Status, and Diabetes Risk Among Women With Children Living on a Navajo Reservation
Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition
This study of adult women living on a Navajo reservation with at least one child less than 18 years old attending a primary school on the reservation investigated the relationship of food security to produce intake and behaviors, health status, and diabetes risk of these adult women. Of the 42 participants completing the survey, 8 (19.0%) were living in fully food secure households, and 10 (23.8%), 12 (28.6%), and 12 (28.6%) were living in marginally food secure, low food secure, and very low food secure households, respectively. Adult food insecurity was related to increased age (r = 0.260, P = .024); increased household size (r = 0.255, P = .034); decreased education level (r = −0.300, P = .013); obtaining a high school diploma (r = −0.347, P = .011); decreased reliable transportation (r = −0.282, P = .038); receiving food distribution (r = 0.342, P = .012); household participation in the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC; r = 0.315, P = .020); receiving benefits from senior farmers' market nutrition program (r = 0.296, P = .032); participation in church, food bank, or pantry (r = 0.447, P = .001); increased diabetes risk score (r = 0.234, P = .049); increased perceived barriers to produce intake (r = −0.301, P = .011); decreased perceived diet quality (r = 0.386, P = .002); decreased vegetable intake (r = −0.302, P = .014); and decreased readiness on the stages-of-change continuum for both fruit (r = −0.274, P = .027) and vegetable intakes (r = −0.259, P = .037). Adult food insecurity was not significantly related to fruit intake (r = −0.197, P = .108), perceived benefits of produce (r = −0.151, P = .339), perceived control of produce intake (r = −0.021, P = .873), or perceived health (r = −0.246, P = .116). Food insecurity was high among our sample, which was related to increased diabetes mellitus risk and poorer perceived dietary intake and patterns. Reducing barriers to food insecurity by improving the economic conditions of households and providing nutrition education on Navajo reservations may help improve the food security status of Navajo women with children. Education focused on the benefits of consuming fresh produce and produce availability, including gardening, may help to reduce the chronic disease risk in this vulnerable population.
Ray, Emma Bah; Holben, David; and Holcomb, John P., "Food Security Status and Produce Intake Behaviors, Health Status, and Diabetes Risk Among Women With Children Living on a Navajo Reservation" (2012). Mathematics Faculty Publications. 249.