Neighborhood matter: Variation in food insecurity not explained by household characteristics

This study investigated the relationship between the social and economic contexts of neighborhoods and household food insecurity. Four years of data (2007 through 2010) drawn from the nationally representative Canadian Community Health Survey, which measures food insecurity using the Household Food Security Survey Module, were matched with the 2006 Census. Economic and social indicators from Census tracts were aggregated to the level of provincial and territorial health regions. Using random intercept logistic multi-level modeling in a Bayesian environment, with household characteristics and health region characteristics as level 1 and level 2, respectively, it was found that 14% of the variations in food insecurity prevalence lies between neighborhoods. After controlling for relevant household-level predictors, the prevalence of female-lone parent led households in a neighborhood raised the population prevalence of food insecurity by 2% as did low average household income. Therefore, the social and economic contexts in which households reside contribute independently to increased food insecurity among their residents. They reveal important differences in quality of life across Canadian provinces and territories.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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