Social determinants of food insecurity

Food insecurity does not affect all Canadians equally, and there are very clear social patterns of vulnerability. Analyses of population survey data consistently identify low-income as a predictor of household food insecurity. In addition, rates of food insecurity are highest among Aboriginal Canadians, households reliant on social assistance, households headed by single mothers, and those renting rather than owning a home.

There has been less research conducted to examine the relationship between household food insecurity and other social determinants such as social capital (i.e. the value derived from social connections, social networks) and neighbourhood factors (i.e. proximity to supermarkets and community food programs). Lack of retail food access is commonly thought to be a significant barrier to food security, but there has been little direct examination of this.  However, one recent study of families in high-poverty Toronto neighbourhoods found no relationship between geographic access to food retail and household food insecurity; 79% of households in this study were food-insecure despite the presence of discount supermarkets in their neighbourhoods.

The following articles present research on social determinants of food insecurity:

Economic predictors of household food insecurity in Canadian metropolitan areas
Sriram U,Tarasuk V
Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 2015; Published online ahead of print
[Abstract]

Changes in household food insecurity rates in Canadian metropolitan areas from 2007 to 2012
Sriram U,Tarasuk V
Canadian Journal of Public Health 2015; 106(5), E322-E327
[Abstract] [Full Text]

Determinants of Food Insecurity in Higher-Income Households in Canada
Olabiyia OM, McIntyre L.
Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition 2014; 9(4):433-448.
[Abstract]

Severity of Household Food Insecurity is Sensitive to Change in Household Income and Employment Status among Low-Income Families
Loopstra R, Tarasuk V.
Journal of Nutrition 2013; Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print].
[Abstract]

Women respondents report higher household food insecurity than do men in similar Canadian households
Matheson J, McIntyre L.
Public Health Nutrition 2013; 7: 1-9.
[Abstract]

Place and food insecurity: a critical review and synthesis of the literature
Carter MA, Dubois L, Tremblay M.
Public Health Nutrition 2013; Apr 8. [Epub ahead of print].
[Abstract]

Local social environmental factors are associated with household food insecurity in a longitudinal study of children
Carter MA, Dubois, L, Tremblay MS, Talijaard M.
BMC Public Health 2012; 12: 1038. 

[Abstract] [Free Full Text]

When working is not enough: food insecurity in the Canadian labour force.
McIntyre L, Bartoo AC, Emery JCH.
Public Health Nutrition 2012; 10:1-9.
[Abstract]

Associations between household food insecurity and health outcomes in the Aboriginal population (excluding reserves).

Willows N, Veugelers P, Raine K, Kuhle S.
Health Reports 2011; 22(2): 1-6.
[Abstract][Free Full Text]

Assessing the relevance of neighbourhood characteristics to the household food security of low-income Toronto families.
Kirkpatrick  S,  Tarasuk V.
Public Health Nutrition 2010; 13: 1139-1148.
[Abstract]

Household food insecurity in Ontario.
Tarasuk V, Vogt J.
Canadian Journal of Public Health  2009; 100: 184-188.
[Abstract] [Free Full Text]

Prevalence and sociodemographic risk factors related to household food insecurity in Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
Willows ND, Veugelers P, Raine K, Kuhle S.
Public Health Nutrition 2009;12(8):1150-6.
[Abstract]

Food Insecurity in Canada: Considerations for Monitoring.
Kirkpatrick SI, Tarasuk V.
Canadian Journal of Public Health 2008; 99(4): 324-327.
[Abstract] [Free Full Text]

Socio-demographic influences on food purchasing among Canadian households.
Ricciuto L, Tarasuk V, Yatchew A.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2006; 60:778-790.
[Abstract] [Free Full Text]

Household food insufficiency is associated with poorer health.
Vozoris N, Tarasuk V.
Journal of Nutrition 2003;133:120-6.
[Abstract] [Free Full Text]

Food insecurity of low-income lone mothers and their children in Atlantic Canada.
McIntyre L, GlanvilleNT, Officer S, Anderson B, Raine KD, Dayle JB.
Canadian Journal of Public Health 2002; 93:411-415.
[Abstract] [Free Full Text]

Food insecurity in Canadian households.
Che J, Chen J.
Health Rep. 2001;12(4):11-22.
[Abstract] [Free Full Text]