263471 Ability of women to overcome household food insecurity, social support & social networks: A systematic review of the literature

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 10:30 AM - 10:50 AM

Patricia Boston, DrPH, MPH, CHES , Institute of Public Health, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Sandra Suther, PhD , Institute of Public Health, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Christa V. Hardy, PhD , Information Literacy & Learning Services Coordinator, Alabama State Univesity, Montgomery, AL
Background: Food insecurity or hunger is a daily reality for millions worldwide and is a problem in developing countries where the vulnerable are dependent on agriculture for food with no alternative income. Food insecurity creates public health problems and contributes to the shift to increases in chronic conditions for developing countries. This challenges the wellbeing of women, children and their families. A systematic review of the literature assessed women's utilization of social support and social networks to overcome household food insecurity in Africa. Strategies used by women in the U.S. to cope with food insecurity were examined for similarities. This presents a systematic process to organize and examine findings from studies. Methods: Eighteen papers discussing food insecurity were identified from five electronic databases. Only studies written in the English language that discussed strategies utilized to cope with food insecurity or food scarcity in Africa and the U.S. were included in the review. A review matrix was created to structure information abstracted from each study. Results: Social network and social support concepts most frequently identified in reviewed articles included money sent from relatives outside the area, food aid, borrowed money, social ties, community wealth, household wealth, in-kind food payment, support from relatives/friends, sending household members to others, borrowed food and credit. Conclusions: Women use concepts of social support and social networks to overcome food insecurity. There is need to promote social environments for women, expand social support networks and for responsive policies supporting expanded education, empowerment and income opportunities for women

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the global usefulness of the matrix method to assess women’s use of social support and social networks to overcome food insecurity.

Keywords: Food Security, Assessments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a candidate for the doctor of pubic health degree from the Institute of Public Health at Florida A&M University. I am a certified health education specialist and I have collected primary data for my dissertation topic. I have been trained in research methods as well.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.