European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 1341–1350 | Cite as

The association of household food insecurity with the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Ahmed A. Abdurahman
  • Eshetu E. Chaka
  • S. Nedjat
  • Ahmed Reza DorostyEmail author
  • R. Majdzadeh



The link between household food insecurity and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus still remains controversial. Therefore, we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to clarify the association between household food insecurity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


EMBASE, PubMed, ISI Web of Science and Scopus databases were searched up to March 2017. The selection of studies, data extraction and assessing the risk of bias in the included studies were carried out by two reviewers independently. Study-specific odds ratios (ORs) were pooled using a random effects model.


A total of 18 articles including a total of 55,353,915 adult participants were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled ORs of the cross-sectional studies revealed that household food insecurity was significantly associated with the odds of T2DM (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.11–1.42) with no evidence of publication bias (p = 0.63) but heterogeneity between studies (I2 = 61.1%). Similarly, subgroup analyses showed that the country where the study conducted and household food insecurity assessment tool used to influence the effect of household food insecurity on the odds of T2DM. However, the pooled ORs for two case–control and one cohort studies were not significantly associated between household food insecurity and T2DM in adults.


This study strengthens the hypothesis of the household food insecurity effect on the odds of T2DM among adults. Further longitudinal studies based on larger, and more representative samples are needed to identify the underlying relationships between food insecurity and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Food insecurity Type 2 diabetes mellitus Meta-analysis Observational study 



We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to all staffs of Tehran University of Medical Sciences International Campus (TUMS-IC), School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics and School of public health who assisted in this review.

Author contributions

AAA and EEC conceived the study aims and design, contributed to the systematic review and data extraction, performed the analysis, interpreted the results, and drafted the manuscript. RM, SN, and ARD contributed to the interpretation of results and revision of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests.

Supplementary material

394_2018_1705_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary materials Table 1. Checklist summarizing compliance with PRISMA guidelines (DOCX 13 KB)
394_2018_1705_MOESM2_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary materials Table 2. Search strategy (DOCX 13 KB)
394_2018_1705_MOESM3_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary materials Table 3. Items used to measure quality of the selected studies (DOCX 13 KB)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ahmed A. Abdurahman
    • 1
  • Eshetu E. Chaka
    • 2
    • 6
  • S. Nedjat
    • 3
  • Ahmed Reza Dorosty
    • 4
    Email author
  • R. Majdzadeh
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical Sciences International Campus (TUMS-IC)TehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public HealthTehran University of Medical Sciences International Campus (TUMS-IC)TehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, and Knowledge Utilization Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  4. 4.Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and DieteticsTehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS)TehranIran
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, and Community Based Participatory Research CenterTehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran
  6. 6.College of Medicine and Health SciencesAmbo UniversityAmboEthiopia

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