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Revista Argentina de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1852-8724On-line version ISSN 1853-810X


FEMINA MONTEBAN, Madalena. Food insecurity and obesity among mothers in Northwest Argentina: local study in global context. Rev. argent. salud pública [online]. 2020, vol.12, pp.27-27.  Epub Dec 28, 2020. ISSN 1852-8724.


Food insecurity (FI) is a multidimensional phenomenon which forces people to reduce the quantity or quality of consumed products and has a continuum of severity levels (from mild to severe). The objective of this study was to analyze the relationship between FI and nutritional status in mothers attending Primary Health Care Centers in four provinces of Argentine Northwest.


A questionnaire with USDA and NHANES III FI indicator was applied to 995 mothers. Nutritional status was assessed using body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.


The prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) was higher among women with severe (37.1%) and moderate (28.7%) FI than in women reporting low FI (20.3%) or food security (FS) (22.4%) (p 0.003). In multivariate logistic regression models, severe FI increased the likelihood of BMI ≥30 kg/m2 (OR 1.8) and of waist circumference ≥80 cm (OR 1.8). Low income and education level, being married/living with a partner, and fried food consumption also were significant risk factors for obesity.


Food policies should combine with employment and income distribution, production and access to healthy foods, food and beverage composition and advertising regulations, together with the dissemination of information and healthy nutrition practices.

Keywords : Food Insecurity; Obesity; Women; Food Assistance; Latin America.

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