Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp e49–e55 | Cite as

Associations between the local food environment and the severity of food insecurity among new families using community food security interventions in Montreal

  • Elsury Pérez
  • Federico Roncarolo
  • Louise Potvin
Quantitative Research


OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between the local food environment and the severity of food insecurity among new families using community food security interventions in Montreal.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed baseline data from 785 adults aged 18–65 years enrolled in the evaluation of the effects of organizations delivering community food security interventions in Montreal. The dependent variable was household food insecurity, while the independent variable was the local food environment, assessed through: location of the most frequently used grocery store, distance between the participant’s residence and the community organization used, mode of transportation, walking time to the most frequently used grocery store, satisfaction with the acceptability and affordability of food available at the most frequently used grocery store, and self-reported difficulties in accessing food. We used polytomous logistic regression to estimate the association between household food insecurity and the local food environment. In all the models, we coded food security status in three categories: food security, moderate food insecurity and severe food insecurity. The last group was used as a reference group.

RESULTS: Our data suggest that compared to households with severe food insecurity, those with moderate food insecurity (OR = 0.43, 95% CI: 0.28–0.62) and those with food security (OR = 0.1 3, 95% CI: 0.06–0.26) were less likely to report difficulties in accessing food due to food affordability. Food-secure households also had lower odds of reporting difficulties in accessing food due to transportation constraints (OR = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.06–0.55) compared with severe food-insecure households. Living a distance of between 1 and 2 km from the organization used was significantly correlated with moderate food insecurity (OR = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.12–2.88).

CONCLUSION: The local food environment is associated with severity of household food insecurity among new families using community food security interventions in Montreal. Future studies should study the relationship between the local food environment and food insecurity across all dimensions of food access.

Key Words

Food supply food assistance food environment Montreal food insecurity 


OBJECTIFS: Examiner la relation entre l’environnement alimentaire local et la sévérité de l’insécurité alimentaire parmi les nouvelles familles utilisant les organismes communautaires d’intervention en sécurité alimentaire à Montréal.

MÉTHODE: Dans cette étude transversale, nous avons analysé les données de base de 785 adultes âgés de 18 à 65 ans qui ont participé à une enquête sur les effets des interventions en sécurité alimentaire à Montréal. Les variables dépendante et indépendante étaient respectivement, l’insécurité alimentaire des ménages et l’environnement alimentaire local. Cette dernière était évaluée selon différentes mesures: l’emplacement de l’épicerie la plus fréquemment utilisée, la distance entre le domicile du participant et l’organisme communautaire qu’il fréquentait, le mode de transport, le temps de marche pour se rendre à l’épicerie la plus fréquemment utilisée, la satisfaction quant à l’acceptabilité et le caractère abordable des aliments à l’épicerie la plus fréquemment utilisée, et les difficultés d’accès aux aliments. Nous avons utilisé des modèles de régression logistique multinomiale afin d’évaluer la relation entre l’insécurité alimentaire et l’environnement alimentaire local. Dans tous les modèles, l’insécurité alimentaire a été codée selon trois catégories: sécurité alimentaire, insécurité alimentaire modérée et insécurité alimentaire sévère. Le dernier groupe a été utilisé comme groupe de référence.

RÉSULTATS: Nos données suggèrent qu’en comparaison avec les ménages en situation d’insécurité alimentaire sévère, ceux en situation d’insécurité alimentaire modérée (OR = 0,43, IC 95%: 0,28–0,62) et ceux en sécurité alimentaire (OR = 0,1 3, IC 95%: 0,06–0,26) étaient moins susceptibles de déclarer des difficultés d’accès aux aliments à cause de la cherté des aliments. Les ménages en sécurité alimentaire avaient une probabilité plus faible de déclarer des difficultés d’accès aux aliments à cause de contraintes de transport (OR = 0,18, IC 95%: 0,06–0,55) en comparaison avec les ménages en situation d’insécurité alimentaire sévère. Habiter à une distance entre un et deux kilomètres de l’organisme utilisé était significativement corrélé avec l’insécurité alimentaire modérée (OR = 1,80, IC 95%: 1,12–2,88).

CONCLUSION: L’environnement alimentaire local est associé à la sévérité de l’insécurité alimentaire chez les nouvelles familles qui utilisent les interventions communautaires en sécurité alimentaire à Montréal. Des études futures devraient étudier la relation entre l’environnement alimentaire et l’insécurité alimentaire dans toutes les dimensions de l’accès aux ressources alimentaires.

Mots Clés

approvisionnement alimentaire aide alimentaire environnement alimentaire Montréal insécurité alimentaire 


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elsury Pérez
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Federico Roncarolo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Louise Potvin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’université de Montréal (IRSPUM)MontréalCanada
  2. 2.Institut de recherche en santé publique de l’université de Montréal (IRSPUM)MontréalCanada
  3. 3.Chaire de recherche du Canada - Approches communautaires et inégalités de santé (CACIS)Université de MontréalMontréalCanada
  4. 4.Centre de recherche Léa-Roback sur les inégalités sociales de santé de MontréalMontréalCanada

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