264872 Household food insufficiency in Ecuador: Prevalence, risk correlates, coping strategies, and food acquisition patterns

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Margaret Weigel, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Rodrigo Armijos, MD, ScD , Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Household food insufficiency (HFI) occurs under conditions of limited access to money, food, or other resources. One-sixth of the world's population lack sufficient food to meet their basic needs. Little is known about the household food sufficiency status of the Ecuadorian population. Survey data from a nationally representative sample of 10,784 reproductive-aged Ecuadorian women and their households (2004 Encuesta Demografica de Salud Materna e Infantil) were analyzed to estimate HFI prevalence and identify risk correlates, coping strategies, and food acquisition patterns. One-quarter reported they had experienced difficulty in paying for food during the previous 2-weeks. They reported diverse strategies to cope with the situation that varied according to maternal and household characteristics. One-sixth of households reported HFI for the prior 2-weeks. HFI risk correlates identified by the multivariate analysis included lower household income, larger household size, governmental assistance, low maternal education, Afro-Ecuadorian ethnicity, and marital status. The major strategies used to stretch food supplies including reducing daily meal number (51.6%) or quantity of food at meals (39.1%). Few reported decreasing adult (5.9%) or child (1%) food quantity. The coping strategies reported varied by maternal ethnicity, education, governmental assistance, and other characteristics. Food insufficient households were more likely to purchase or otherwise acquire white rice, sugar and salt than food sufficient homes. They were less likely to acquire high-quality sources of protein and micronutrients or buy highly processed foods (e.g., soft drinks, cookies, margarine). The study findings have utility for governmental and NGO nutrition education, food and social assistance programs.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the prevalence, risk correlates, coping strategies, and food acquisition patterns associated with household food insufficiency in the Ecuadorian population.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have more than decades of experience conducting research funded by the NIH, PAHO, TDR/WB/WHO, USAID,Interamerican Development Bank and other agencies in diverse Ecuadorian populations.
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.

Back to: 5018.0: Poster Session: Nutrition