Food insecurity in Canadian households

Health Rep. 2001 Aug;12(4):11-22.


Objectives: This article examines the prevalence of food insecurity in Canada, the characteristics of people most likely to live in households lacking sufficient funds for food, and several related health problems.

Data source: The data are from the cross-sectional household component of the 1998/99 National Population Health Survey and the Food Insecurity Supplement to that survey.

Analytical techniques: Cross-tabulations were used to estimate the percentage of Canadians experiencing food insecurity and the prevalence of five selected health outcomes among people who were and were not food insecure. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the association of several socio-demographic and economic factors with food insecurity and to determine the association of food insecurity with the selected health outcomes.

Main results: In 1998/99, 10% of Canadians, or about 3 million people, were living in food-insecure households. Low-income households, households depending on social assistance, lone-parent families headed by women, tenants, children, and Aboriginal people had significantly high odds of experiencing food insecurity. Food insecurity was significantly associated with poor/fair health, multiple chronic conditions, obesity, distress and depression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Diet
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Food Deprivation
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Prevalence