Canadian households that rely on publicly funded income supports are much more likely to face food insecurity than those reliant on employment income, according to new research from the University of Toronto.
The study is one of the most comprehensive to elucidate the socio-demographics of food insecurity in Canada, and it shows wide disparities in risk by province and territory, age and Indigeneity, among other factors.
Food insecurity is the inadequate or uncertain access to food due to financial constraint, and a growing body of evidence shows it has major effects on physical and mental health, and health-care costs.
Income supports associated with a high risk of food insecurity included social assistance, employment insurance and workers’ compensation, the researchers found – even after controlling for education, household composition and many other factors. Households reliant on social assistance were almost three times more likely to be food-insecure, and 16 times more likely when the researchers did not control for other factors.
Continue reading this University of Toronto news story on our new research, published in BMC Public Health.
Access the article at:
Tarasuk VS, Fafard St-Germain AA, Mitchell A. Geographic and socio-demographic predictors of household food insecurity in Canada, 2011-12. BMC Public Health 2019;19. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-018-6344-2