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Food insecurity and adult weight abnormality risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Sajjad Moradi
  • Atieh Mirzababaei
  • Alireza Dadfarma
  • Shahabeddin Rezaei
  • Hamed Mohammadi
  • Behrooz Jannat
  • Khadijeh Mirzaei
Review

Abstract

Purpose

Research into the relationship between food insecurity and weight abnormality has yielded varied and contradictory results. Therefore, a systematic review and meta-analysis were carried out to examine the association between food insecurity and weight abnormality in adults.

Methods

Pertinent studies were identified by searching PubMed and Scopus databases, up to February 2018. Data were available from 31 studies. These studies were conducted in 14 different countries. The odds ratio of 115,993 individuals in these studies was pooled for the meta-analysis.

Results

The present meta-analysis showed that adults in food-insecure households are more at risk of obesity (OR 1.15, 95% CI 1.06–1.23). Subgroup analysis by gender also revealed that women had a higher risk of obesity compared to men in food-insecure households (OR 1.26, 95% CI 1.05–1.46). Furthermore, subgroup analysis by food insecurity level implied that a severe level of household food insecurity may be associated with a higher risk of underweight (49%) than overweight (37%) or obesity (29%) among adults. In addition, subgroup analysis revealed that with lower levels of national economic development, the risk of weight abnormality shifted from obesity to underweight.

Conclusion

It seems that adults in food-insecure households, especially women, are at higher risk of obesity. The weight abnormality risk may increase with the intensification of the level of food insecurity. Also, the level of economic development is an important factor in the effects of food insecurity on weight status. However, due to the high heterogeneity among studies, the results should be interpreted with caution.

Keywords

Food insecurity Adult weight status Obesity Overweight Underweight 

Abbreviations

BAFIA

Bureau of Aliens and Foreign Immigrant Affairs

BVSHA

Brazos Valley Health Status Assessment

CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CSFII

Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals

DHS

Demographic and Health Survey

FSS

Food Security Scale

HFSSM

Household Food Security Survey Module

HFIAS

Household Food Insecurity Access Scale

MSFW

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker

NDHS

Nepal Demographic and Health Survey

NHIS

National Health Interview Survey

U.S. FSS

U.S. Food Security Survey

WHO

World Health Organization

Notes

Authors’ contributions

SM and KhM designed the research; SM, AD, AM and SH-R conducted the research; SM and HM performed statistical analysis; SM, KhM and AM wrote the paper; SM, HM and BJ contributed to the revision of the manuscript, KhM had primary responsibility for final content. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

394_2018_1819_MOESM1_ESM.doc (70 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 70 KB)
394_2018_1819_MOESM2_ESM.doc (75 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 75 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sajjad Moradi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Atieh Mirzababaei
    • 3
  • Alireza Dadfarma
    • 4
  • Shahabeddin Rezaei
    • 5
  • Hamed Mohammadi
    • 6
  • Behrooz Jannat
    • 2
  • Khadijeh Mirzaei
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Food Security Research CenterIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Halal Research Center of IRI, FDATehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS)TehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS)TehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Cellular and Molecular Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS)TehranIran
  6. 6.Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Students Research CommitteeIsfahan University of Medical SciencesIsfahanIran

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