Background and Objectives: Food insecurity has some adverse effects on health. Studies show that, there is a significant relationship between poor mental and physical health and food insecurity among low-income households. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between household food insecurity and physical and mental health in Iranian women with high school age children.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 289 women with high school aged children in Babolsar, Iranin spring 2015. General Information Questionnaire, 18-item USDA household food security questionnaires and health survey (SF-12) was completed by face-to-face interviews with the participants. The mental and physical health of the participants were compared based on food secure and food insecure group.
Results: Food insecurity was significantly related to age of the participants, living area (urban/rural), husbands job and education of women studied (p<0.05). Also, food insecurity was significantly associated with poor physical health score (β=-1.079, P<0.001) and mental health (β=-0.728, P<0.001). This relationship remained significant after adjusting for age, family size, residential area, education, job, husband's job and education.
Conclusions: Therefore, household food insecurity is an independent risk factor for poor mental and physical health in women with high school aged children. The findings of this research provide insights for the future as the crucial role of woman and their significant impact on food security and the health status of the household can be used to develop targeted interventions aimed at women with children.
Keywords: Food insecurity, Mental health, Physical health, Woman