WIC Participation, Education, Marital Status, Age, and Parity Are Associated with Household Food Status among Pregnant Women
Barbara A. Laraia, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Anna Maria Siega-Riz, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Craig G. Gundersen, Iowa State University
Objective: To describe the prevalence and correlates of household food insecurity in a perinatal population. Methods: An 18-item scale was used to assess prevalence of food insecurity among pregnant women. Descriptive statistics on socio-demographic characteristics and multivariate logistic regression were conducted to identify predictors of food worry/insecurity during pregnancy. Results: Among pregnant women, 86.4% were food secure, 8.2% were worried about enough food, and 5.4% were food insecure. Women from households worried about enough food and food insecure had significantly less education, less income, a greater average number of children, and greater pregravid BMI compared to women from food secure households, therefore these two categories were collapsed. In the final model, WIC participation, less than a high school education, being unmarried, age greater than 20 years, and greater than two children were found to be predictive of food insecurity. Conclusion: Vulnerable populations must be targeted for more effective nutrition programs.