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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

South Carolina: Study Examines Food Insecurity, Childhood Hunger and Caregiver Life Experiences Among Households with Children

A team of University of South Carolina researchers from the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the Cancer Prevention and Control Program, and the Nutrition Consortium along with the Department of Psychology have published a study in public health nutrition. The paper, “Food insecurity, childhood hunger and caregiver life experiences among households with children in South Carolina, USA” reports findings from research examining food insecurity, childhood hunger and caregiver life experiences among households with children in South Carolina.

The authors analyzed the data collected from caregivers in 511 households with children from the cross-sectional Midlands Family Study, which was conducted in an eight-county region in South Carolina between 2012 and 2013. They categorized the data into three levels of house hold food insecurity (i.e., food secure, food insecure without child hunger, food insecure with child hunger). The researchers used ordinal logistic regression for analyses of number, impact, and type of negative and positive life experiences associated with food insecurity.

The team found that caregivers who reported greater numbers of negative life experiences and greater perceived impact had increased odds of household food insecurity and were more likely to report their children experienced hunger. Further, each additional negative life experience count of the caregiver was associated with a 16% greater odds of food insecurity without child hunger and a 28 percent greater odds of child hunger.

The researchers also noted that each one-unit increase in the negative impact score (e.g. a worsening) was associated with 8 percent higher odds of food insecurity without child hunger and 12 percent higher odds of child hunger.

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