Food insecurity and food supplies in Latino households with young children

Lucia L. Kaiser, Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez, Marilyn S. Townsend, Yvonne Nicholson, Mary Lavender Fujii, Anna C. Martin, Cathi L. Lamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the relationship between food insecurity and food supplies in Latino households. Design: Cross-sectional survey, conducted February to May 2001. Setting: Six California counties. Participants: Convenience sampling was used to recruit 274 low-income Latino families with preschool children from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Head Start, and other community-based organizations. Complete data were available for 256 families. Variables Measured: Food security, household food scores. Analysis: Pearson correlations, Kruskal-Wallis test, and logistics regression. Significance level at P < .05. Results: Controlling for maternal education, food insecurity over the past 3 months was associated with lower household food supplies: dairy, r = -.18, P < .01; fruit, r = -.36, P < .001; grains, r = -.27, P < .0001; meats, r = -.22, P < .001; snack foods, r = -.23, P < .001; and vegetables, r = -.29, P < .001. Conclusions and Implications: In Latino households, greater food insecurity is associated with a lower variety of most foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Future research in Latino households should explore the effects of seasonal food insecurity and household food shortages on food intake of individual household members, especially young children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003


  • Food insecurity
  • Household food supplies
  • Latinos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Food Science


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