Varying Levels of Food Insecurity Associated with Clinically Relevant Depressive Symptoms in U.S. Adults Aged 60 Years and Over: Results from the 2005–2014 National Health and Nutrition Survey

Jessica M. Brooks, Curtis L. Petersen, Alexander J. Titus, Emre Umucu, Chungyi Chiu, Stephen J. Bartels, John A. Batsis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Food insecurity refers to restricted or uncertain access to and ineffective utilization of nutritious and safe foods. Although food insecurity is linked to poorer physical health consequences among older adults, national estimates are not well known on food insecurity and depression. Using the 2005–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, this study examines the associations between varying food insecurity levels and clinically relevant depressive symptoms (defined by PHQ-9 ≥ 10) among adults ≥60 years old (n = 7969). Rates of clinically relevant depressive symptoms in marginal, low, and very low food security were 12.3, 16.3, and 25.2%, respectively. Marginal, low, and very low food security were significantly associated with clinically relevant depressive symptoms: odds ratio (OR) = 1.12 (95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.07–1.18), OR = 1.07 (95% CI 1.03–1.12), and OR = 1.24 (95% CI 1.16–1.32), respectively. Given the intersection of food insecurity and depression, geriatric health professionals should work to improve health and nutrition programs for older adults at risk for or experiencing both public health concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-230
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2019

Keywords

  • Depression
  • NHANES
  • food insecurity
  • nutrition
  • older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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