Date of Award
M.S. in Food and Nutrition Services
Nutrition and Hospitality Management
David H. Holben
This study examined the differences in parent/caretaker body mass index (BMI) and parent/caretaker-reported child overweight/obesity by food security status in a rural, Appalachian, Mississippi community, as well as the relationship of parent/caretaker BMI and parent/caretaker-reported child overweight/obesity to food security status. A cross-sectional survey of elementary school parents/caretakers recruited at three elementary schools in an economically-distressed Appalachian, Mississippi county was conducted. Parent/caretaker BMI was calculated from self-reported height and weight. Caretaker-reported child overweight/obesity was determined using caretaker report of a medical professional identifying child overweight/obesity within the past year. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS (version 23, 2015) to assess for differences in parent/caretaker BMI and caretaker-reported child overweight/obesity by food security status (ANOVA, Independent Samples T-test, Pearson Chi Squared), as well as the relationship of food security to BMI and child overweight/obesity (Pearson r and Kendall’s taub correlations). Parent/caretaker participants (n=467, 41% response rate) were 34±8 years and predominantly Caucasian (n=264/465, 57%), female (n=425/461, 92%), married (n=243/453, 54%), with some college or higher education (n=256/461, 56%), and living in food-secure households (n=367/455, 80%). Parent/caretaker BMI differed by food security status (p=.02), with those from food-insecure households having a significantly higher BMI (31.7kg/m2±8.0 kg/m2) than those from food-secure households (29.2±7.2). Parent/caretaker BMI was greater in food-insecure households, but prevalence of caretaker-reported child overweight/obesity was greater in food-secure households (6.8%), compared to food-insecure households (1.1%). Exploring nutrition interventions, especially in a community hub (e.g., school), that may help to alleviate household food insecurity is warranted.
Antolini, Sydney, "Food Insecurity And Child And Parent/Caretaker Overweight/Obesity In A Rural, Appalachian Mississippi Community" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 589.