Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 107, Issue 6, pp e526–e532 | Cite as

Adults’ food skills and use of gardens are not associated with household food insecurity in Canada

  • Anne Huisken
  • Sarah K. Orr
  • Valerie TarasukEmail author
Quantitative Research


OBJECTIVES: To determine the extent to which Canadian adults’ food preparation and cooking skills and use of home or community gardens relate to their household food insecurity status; and to compare the food shopping and cooking behaviours of adults in food-secure and food-insecure households.

METHODS: Data were drawn from two Rapid Response Modules appended to the Canadian Community Health Survey in 2012 and 201 3. The analytic sample comprised 16,496 respondents 18 years and older. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the association between food insecurity and adults’ self-rated cooking abilities, food preparation skills score, use of gardens, food shopping behaviours, and cooking behaviours, while adjusting for socio-demographic characteristics.

RESULTS: Adults in food-insecure households did not differ significantly from others with respect to their food preparation skills or cooking ability, and neither variable predicted the odds of household food insecurity when socio-demographic characteristics were taken into account. Adults in food-insecure households were less likely to use a garden for food, but gardening was unrelated to the odds of food insecurity. Shopping with a budget was more common among adults in food-insecure households, but no other differences in food shopping behaviours were observed after adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics. Adults in food-insecure households were as likely as others to adjust recipes to make them healthier, but they had higher odds of adjusting recipes to reduce their fat content.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that household food insecurity in Canada is not a problem of insufficient food skills.

Key Words

Canada food insecurity gardening cooking 


OBJECTIFS: Déterminer la mesure dans laquelle les habiletés des adultes canadiens à préparer des aliments, à cuisiner et à utiliser des jardins privés ou communautaires sont liées au statut d’insécurité alimentaire du ménage; et comparer les habitudes de cuisine et d’achat de produits d’épicerie des adultes de ménages aux prises ou non avec l’insécurité alimentaire.

MÉTHODE: Nos données proviennent de deux „modules réponse rapide” annexés à l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes en 2012 et en 2013. L’échantillon d’analyse comptait 16 496 répondants de 18 ans et plus. Nous avons mené des analyses de régression logistique multivariées pour déterminer l’association entre l’insécurité alimentaire et les habiletés à cuisiner, la note d’habileté à préparer des repas, l’utilisation de jardins, les habitudes d’achat de produits d’épicerie et les habitudes de cuisine autodéclarées par les adultes, tout en tenant compte des caractéristiques sociodémographiques.

RÉSULTATS: Les adultes des ménages aux prises avec l’insécurité alimentaire n’étaient pas sensiblement différents des autres en ce qui a trait à leur habileté à préparer des repas ou à cuisiner, et ni l’une ni l’autre de ces variables ne prédisait la probabilité d’insécurité alimentaire du ménage lorsque les caractéristiques sociodémographiques étaient prises en compte. Les adultes des ménages aux prises avec l’insécurité alimentaire étaient moins susceptibles de jardiner pour s’alimenter, mais le jardinage n’était pas lié à la probabilité d’insécurité alimentaire. Magasiner avec un budget était plus courant chez les adultes des ménages aux prises avec l’insécurité alimentaire, mais aucune autre différence n’a été observée dans les habitudes de magasinage lorsque les caractéristiques sociodémographiques étaient prises en compte. Les adultes des ménages aux prises avec l’insécurité alimentaire étaient aussi susceptibles que les autres d’adapter des recettes pour les rendre plus saines, mais ils avaient une probabilité plus élevée d’adapter des recettes pour réduire leur teneur en matières grasses.

CONCLUSION: Nos constatations indiquent que l’insécurité alimentaire des ménages au Canada n’est pas un problème de compétences alimentaires insuffisantes.

Mots Clés

Canada insécurité alimentaire jardinage cuisine 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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