Food insecurity and dyslipidemia among adults in the United States

Prev Med. 2009 May;48(5):480-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.03.003. Epub 2009 Mar 10.


Objective: The objective of this study is to estimate the likelihood of dyslipidemia among food insecure men and women.

Method: Men, n=2572 and women, n=2977, in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002 cholesterol screening sample were included in this study. Gender-stratified descriptive comparisons and logistic regression models were used to study associations between food insecurity and dyslipidemia indicated by abnormal levels of fasting serum triglyceride (TRG), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and their ratios.

Results: Food insecurity did not associate with dyslipidemia among men. Among women, the associations between food insecurity and dyslipidemia were not consistent. Compared with the fully food secure, women who were marginally food secure were more likely to have abnormal levels of LDL-C (adjusted OR, 1.85; P=0.045) and TRG/HDL-C ratio (adjusted OR, 1.91; P=0.046). Women who were food insecure without hunger were more likely to have abnormal levels of TRG (adjusted OR, 1.90; P=0.041).

Conclusion: Intermediate-level food insecurity associated with some indicators of dyslipidemia among women but not among men. This observation shows food insecure women may be at risk of dyslipidemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / diagnosis
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult