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Dietary quality and household food insecurity among Mexican children and adolescents

by / Wednesday, 02 November 2016 / Published in Faculty Research in Latin America, Research

UC BERKELEY AUTHOR: Luis A. Rodriguez

DATE OF PUBLICATION: November 2016

REGION: Mexico

REFERENCE: Rodríguez LA, Mundo-Rosas V, Méndez-Gómez-Humarán I, Pérez-Escamilla R, Shamah-Levy T. Dietary quality and household food insecurity among Mexican children and adolescents. Maternal & Child Nutrition. 2016. doi:10.1111/mcn.12372.

SUMMARY/ABSTRACT: Seventy percent of Mexican households experience some level of food insecurity (FI). Studies have shown positive associations between FI and poor dietary quality. As far as it is known, this is the first time the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010) has been used to assess dietary quality of children and adolescents in Mexico, and to examine if FI is related to it. The objective of this research is to assess dietary quality and its association with FI among Mexican children and adolescents from a nationally representative cross-sectional sample. We analyzed data from 4635 2-19-year-old Mexican children and adolescents participating in the Mexican National Health and Nutrition Survey (Ensanut 2012). FI was measured using the Latin American and Caribbean Household Food Security Scale (ELCSA) and dietary quality with the HEI-2010. We examined the association between FI and dietary quality using multivariate linear regressions. Dietary quality was worst as FI became more severe among children and adolescents compared with their counterparts living in households with food security. Specifically, FI had a negative association with fruits, vegetables, and protein foods, and a positive association with refined grains consumption. Dairy intake was negatively associated with FI among older children and adolescents. Added sugars were not associated with FI, but intake was excessive across the population at 15% of total daily energy intake. Decreasing FI may help improve dietary quality of Mexican children and adolescents.

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