Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 100, Issue 3, pp 184–188 | Cite as

Household Food Insecurity in Ontario

  • Valerie TarasukEmail author
  • Janet Vogt
Quantitative Research
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

To identify socio-demographic factors associated with household food insecurity in the Ontario population.

Methods

Using data from the Ontario Share File of the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, multivariate logistic regression was applied to identify the socio-demographic characteristics of households most likely to report food insecurity.

Results

Of the estimated 379,100 food-insecure households in Ontario in 2004, 55% were reliant on salaries or wages, 23% on social assistance, and 13% on pensions or seniors’ benefits. The prevalence of food insecurity increased markedly as income adequacy declined, rising to 47% in the lowest category of income adequacy. Food insecurity was also more prevalent among tenant households and single-person and single-parent households. When all socio-demographic factors were taken into account, three potent socio-demographic correlates of household food insecurity in Ontario were identified: low income adequacy, social assistance as the main source of income, and not owning one’s dwelling. Compared to households whose main source of income was salary or wages, the adjusted odds of experiencing food insecurity was 3.69 (95% CI: 2.33, 5.84) for households reliant on social assistance, but 0.44 (95% CI: 0.29, 0.67) for those reliant on pensions or seniors’ benefits.

Discussion

Our findings highlight the need for more adequate social assistance benefit levels, but also point to the need for better income supports for low-waged workers in Ontario so that they have sufficient financial resources to purchase the food they need.

Key words

Food socioeconomic factors Ontario 

Résumé

Objectifs

Déterminer les facteurs sociodémographiques associés à l’insécurité alimentaire des ménages en Ontario.

Méthodes

À l’aide des données du Ontario Share File sur l’Enquête sur la santé dans les collectivités canadiennes–Cycle 2.2, une analyse de régression logistique multidimensionnelle a été utilisée pour déterminer les caractéristiques sociodémographiques des ménages les plus susceptibles de signaler une insécurité alimentaire.

Résultats

55 % des quelque 379 100 ménages ontariens qui ont signalé une insécurité alimentaire en 2004 se fiaient aux traitements ou aux salaires, 23 % à l’aide sociale, et 13 % aux revenus de retraite ou aux prestations de sécurité de la vieillesse. Le taux de prévalence de l’insécurité alimentaire a considérablement augmenté proportionnellement à la réduction d’un revenu acceptable, une augmentation de 47 % dans la plus basse catégorie de revenu adéquat. En outre, le taux de prévalence d’insécurité alimentaire était plus élevé dans les ménages de locataires et ceux où résidait une seule personne ou un seul parent. Après avoirs pris en compte tous les facteurs sociodémographiques, les trois puissants corrélats sociodémographiques d’insécurité alimentaire domiciliaire suivants ont été déterminés: nature acceptable d’un faible revenu; aide sociale à titre de principale source de revenu; et le fait de ne pas être propriétaire de son logement. Comparativement aux ménages dont les traitements ou les salaires sont les principales sources de revenu, les probabilités corrigées de vivre une insécurité alimentaire étaient de 3,69 (IC95 %: 2,33–5,84) pour les ménages qui se fient à l’aide sociale, mais de 0,44 (IC95 %: 0,29–0,67) pour les ménages qui reçoivent une pension ou des prestations de sécurité de la vieillesse.

Discussion

Nos constatations et conclusions démontrent le besoin de rehausser les niveaux des prestations d’aide sociale, tout en précisant le besoin d’un meilleur soutien du revenu pour les travailleurs ontariens à faible salaire, et ce, pour veiller à ce qu’ils disposent de ressources financières suffisantes pour acheter les aliments dont ils ont besoin.

Mots clés

aliments facteurs socioéconomiques Ontario 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Ledrou I, Gervais J. Food insecurity. Health Rep 2005;16(3):47–50.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Che J, Chen J. Food insecurity in Canadian households. Health Rep 2001;12(4):11–22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vozoris N, Tarasuk V. Household food insufficiency is associated with poorer health. J Nutr 2003;133:120–26.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    McIntyre L, Connor SK, Warren J. Child hunger in Canada: Results of the 1994 National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth. CMAJ 2000;163(8):961–65.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Health Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004) — Income-Related Household Food Security in Canada. Ottawa, ON: Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, 2007, Cat. No. H164-42/2007E.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kirkpatrick S, Tarasuk V. Food insecurity in Canada. Can J Public Health 2008;99(4):324–27.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dachner N, Tarasuk V. Homeless “squeegee kids”: Food insecurity and daily survival. Soc Sci Med 2002;54(7):1039–49.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lawn J, Harvey D. Nutrition and food security in Kangiqsujuaq, Nunavik. R2-341/2004E. Ottawa, ON: Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 2004.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lawn J, Harvey D. Nutrition and food security in Kugaaruk, Nunavut. R2-265/2003E. Ottawa: Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 2003.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lawn J, Harvey D. Nutrition and food security in Fort Severn, Ontario. R2-350/2004E. Ottawa: Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 2004.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Tarasuk V, Dachner N, Li J. Homeless youth in Toronto are nutritionally vulnerable. J Nutr 2005;135:1926–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Health Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004) — Income-Related Household Food Security in Canada. Supplementary Data Tables. Ottawa: Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, 2007.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kirkpatrick S, Tarasuk V. Food insecurity is associated with nutrient inadequacies among Canadian adults and adolescents. J Nutr 2008;138:604–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kirkpatrick S, Tarasuk V. The relationship between income and household food expenditure in Canada. Public Health Nutr 2003;6(6):589–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Association of Local Public Health Agencies. Nutritious Food Basket Survey. Final Report. Toronto, ON: Association of Local Public Health Agencies, 2007.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Peterborough County-City Health Unit. Nutrition Matters. Limited Incomes: A Recipe for Hunger. Peterborough, ON: Peterborough County-City Health Unit, 2006.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Sudbury & District Health Unit. Nutritious Food Basket. The Cost of Eating Well Report 2006. Sudbury, ON: Sudbury & District Health Unit, 2006.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Toronto Public Health. The Cost of the Nutritious Food Basket in Toronto -2005. Toronto, ON: Toronto Public Health, 2005.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    National Council of Welfare. Welfare Incomes 2005. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2006, Cat. No. SD25-2/2005E-PDF.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Battle K, Mendelson M, Torjman S. The modernization mantra: Toward a new architecture for Canada’s adult benefits. Can Public Policy 2005;31(4):431–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age Adults. Time for a fair deal. 2006. Available online at: https://doi.org/www.torontoalliance.ca/MIS-WAA_Report.pdf (Accessed May 8, 2006).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kerstetter S, Goldberg M. A review of policy options for increasing food security and income security in British Columbia — A discussion paper. PHSA, 2007.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Drummond D, Manning G. From Welfare to Work in Ontario: Still the Road Less Travelled. TD Bank Financial Group, 2005. Available online at: https://doi.org/www.td.com/economics/special/welfare05.jsp (Accessed September 9, 2005).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations