Associations Between Food Insecurity and Psychological Wellbeing, Body Image, Disordered Eating And Dietary Habits: Evidence From Spanish Adolescents

Nithya Shankar Krishnan, Albert Fornieles-Deu, David Sánchez-Carracedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Food insecurity is defined as the lack of accessibility and affordability of safe and healthy foods at regular intervals. The first objective of this study was to examine whether food insecurity in Spanish adolescents is associated with poor psychological wellbeing. Secondly, to investigate whether it is associated with body dissatisfaction, disordered eating and poor dietary habits. A cross-sectional study was conducted in a secondary school in Catalonia, Spain with adolescent boys and girls (n = 426), aged 12–16 years. The ‘Spanish Child Food Security Survey Module’, (CFSSM-S), socioeconomic status (SES) indicators and other validated questionnaires in Spanish were employed to assess psychological wellbeing, body image, disordered eating and dietary habits. 18.3% of participants were food insecure and 81.7% were food secure. Multiple Analysis of Covariance (MANCOVA) was employed to investigate the association between food insecurity and these variables. Socioeconomic status, family affluence, weight status, age, gender and parental origin were added as adjustment variables. The overall results indicated poor psychological wellbeing, greater body dissatisfaction and higher drive for thinness in food insecure participants. This is one of the first studies in Spain to examine the negative outcomes of food insecurity on adolescent health. Tackling these issues in adolescence could prevent major psychological and physiological problems in adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-020-09751-7
Pages (from-to)163
Number of pages183
JournalChild Indicators Research
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Body image
  • Disordered eating
  • Food insecurity
  • Psychological wellbeing

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