142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Accuracy of mother vs. child report of child food insecurity

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 : 1:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Jennifer Bernal , Procesos Biológicos y Bioquímicos, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela
Edward A. Frongillo, Jr., PhD , Arnold Schoold of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Hector Herrera , Procesos Biológicos y Bioquímicos, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas, Venezuela
Juan Rivera, Researcher , Center for Research in Nutrition and Health, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Introduction. For 25 years, mothers were assumed to be the best reporters of food insecurity (FI). Recent studies, however, demonstrate that children have unique experiences of FI, children can report their own FI, and adult and child reports of FI are discordant. Who should be the reporter of children’s FI needs to be better understood. We tested accuracy of mother and child report of child FI by estimating relationships with nutritional and non-nutritional outcomes in 128 children-mothers pairs in Venezuela. Methods. We assessed FI for the pair using scales developed from qualitative research. Regression analyses were used to test associations of FI with diet, school absenteeism, and child daily activities. Results. Mother report of child FI was not associated with any outcome.  From child report, higher FI tended to be associated with lower intake of energy, protein, fat, iron, calcium, and zinc, with fat and zinc statistically significant (p=0.09, 0.04, respectively).  Higher child FI was associated with higher consumption of arepa, rice, crackers, soup, and sweet beverages (p<0.05) and lower consumption of breakfast cereal, cheese, juice, instant beverage, papaya, banana, lettuce, and salad (p<0.09). Higher child FI was associated with higher school absenteeism (p<0.05) and child work activities (e.g., home passive chores, cooking, and labor, p<0.01). Discussion. Child report of child FI more accurately predicted child outcomes than did mother report.  The associations of child FI with school absenteeism and alterations in daily activities may help explain the effects of FI on outcomes previously linked with detrimental child development.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Compare how measurements of food insecurity are different according of who is reporting (mother vs child). Demonstrate that food insecurity in children is associated with diet, schooling and daily altered activities, but not with food insecurity in mothers.

Keyword(s): Food Security, Children and Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research on food insecurity for more than 30 years. I have participated in all aspects of the work, including analysis, interpretation, and writing.
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.