Examining the Food-Insecurity Obesity Paradox among Latino Immigrants
Amador, Maria Aileen
Garza, Mary A
King-Marshall, Evelyn C
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Obesity is linked to chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers (breast, kidney, and liver). Food insecurity refers to lack of access to nutritious and safe food. Latinos are a rapidly growing population in the US with higher levels of food insecurity than the national average, and higher obesity rates than non-Latino white adults. The “food insecurity-obesity” is a paradoxical relationship seen in rising obesity and correspondingly high food insecurity rates. We examined demographic factors, acculturation, stress, dietary habits, and food access among Latina immigrants to understand this paradox. This sub-analysis (n=128) found that education level (p=0.03) and marital status (p=0.08) were significantly and marginally significantly associated with food security level. Additionally, this analysis helped to better describe a population that lacks research. A better understanding of the “food insecurity-obesity” paradox and related factors will inform future culturally-tailored interventions to address obesity among Latina immigrants.