Food insecurity and low income in an English inner city

Tingay, Richard S.; Chuan Jin Tan; Tan, Neil C.-W.; Tang, Stephen; Pei Fen Teoh; Wong, Rebecca; Gulliford, Martin C.
June 2003
Journal of Public Health Medicine;Jun2003, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p156
Academic Journal
Background Low incomes may not provide the minimum requirements for healthy living. We evaluated experiences of food insecurity in relation to income in inner London. Methods Subjects attending 10 general medical practices completed a short self-administered questionnaire, including the short form Household Food Security Scale and a short food frequency questionnaire. Results Responses were obtained from 431/495 (87 per cent) subjects. Overall 87 (20 per cent) of subjects were classified as food insecure. Food insecurity was negatively associated with household income (p = 0.004). University-educated subjects (8 per cent) were less often food insecure than all others (26 per cent). Subjects who were food insecure were less likely to report eating fruit daily (food secure 48 per cent, food insecure 33 per cent, p = 0.017) or vegetables or salads daily (food secure 56 per cent, food insecure 34 per cent, p = 0.002). Conclusions Experiences of food insecurity may be common in households with incomes at the level of the UK national minimum wage or lower.


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