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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 93, Issue 6, pp 411–415 | Cite as

Food Insecurity of Low-income Lone Mothers and Their Children in Atlantic Canada

  • Lynn McIntyreEmail author
  • N. Theresa Glanville
  • Suzanne Officer
  • Bonnie Anderson
  • Kim D. Raine
  • Jutta B. Dayle
Article

Abstract

Objective: To examine the occurrence and predictors of hunger and food insecurity over the past year and month among low-income mother-led households in Atlantic Canada.

Method: The Cornell-Radimer Questionnaire to Estimate the Prevalence of Hunger and Food Insecurity was administered weekly for a month, with modifications, to a community sample of 141 lone mothers who took part in a larger dietary intake study. Eligible women included those living alone with at least two children under the age of 14 years in the four Atlantic Provinces and having an annual income less than or equal to Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off.

Results: Food insecurity over the past year occurred in 96.5% of households. Child hunger was similar to maternal hunger over the one-month study period (23%), however, it was lower than maternal hunger over the past year. On multiple logistic regression analysis, maternal hunger over the past year was predicted by maternal age over 35 years (p<0.0005), and Nova Scotia residence (p=0.03). Child hunger over the past year was also predicted by maternal age over 35 years (p=0.009). Families from New Brunswick experienced less food insecurity over the past month at both the household (p=0.01) and maternal levels (p<0.0005).

Discussion: Provincial policies that might contribute to the regular occurrence of food insecurity in these families should be investigated.

Résumé

Objectif: Examiner la fréquence et les prédicteurs de la faim et de l’insécurité alimentaire au cours du dernier mois et de la dernière année chez les ménages à faible revenu dirigés par des mères au Canada atlantique.

Méthode: Une fois par semaine pendant un mois, nous avons administré une version modifiée du questionnaire Cornell-Radimer estimant la prévalence de la faim et de l’insécurité alimentaire à un échantillon communautaire de 141 mères de familles monoparentales prenant part à une vaste étude sur les apports alimentaires. Nous visions les femmes vivant seules avec au moins deux enfants de moins de 14 ans dans les quatre provinces de l’Atlantique et dont le revenu annuel était inférieur ou égal au seuil de faible revenu de Statistique Canada.

Résultats: L’insécurité alimentaire au cours de l’année précédente avait été vécue par 96,5% des ménages. La faim des enfants était comparable à la faim maternelle au cours de la période d’étude d’un mois (23%), mais sur un an, elle était plus faible que la faim maternelle. Selon une analyse de régression logistique multiple, les prédicteurs de la faim maternelle sur un an étaient l’âge maternel de plus de 35 ans (p<0,0005) et le fait d’habiter la Nouvelle-Écosse (p=0,03). L’âge maternel de plus de 35 ans était également un prédicteur de la faim des enfants sur un an (p=0,009). Les familles du Nouveau-Brunswick avaient vécu moins d’insécurité alimentaire au cours du mois précédent, tant au niveau du ménage (p=0,01) que de la mère (p<0,0005).

Question à débattre: Il faudrait se pencher sur les politiques provinciales susceptibles d’entretenir une insécurité alimentaire périodique dans ces familles.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynn McIntyre
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. Theresa Glanville
    • 2
  • Suzanne Officer
    • 3
  • Bonnie Anderson
    • 4
  • Kim D. Raine
    • 5
  • Jutta B. Dayle
    • 6
  1. 1.Faculty of Health ProfessionsDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Dept. of Applied Human NutritionMount St. Vincent UniversityHalifaxCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Health ProfessionsDalhousie UniversityCanada
  4. 4.Public Health ServicesCapital District Health AuthorityHalifaxCanada
  5. 5.Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, and Centre for Health Promotion StudiesUniversity of AlbertaCanada
  6. 6.Department of AnthropologySaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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