Environmental influences on food security in high-income countries

Nutr Rev. 2010 Jan;68(1):1-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00258.x.


Food security is a fundamental human right yet many people are food insecure, even in high-income countries. Reviewed here is the evidence for the physical, economic, sociocultural, and political environmental influences on household food security in high-income countries. The literature was evaluated using the ANGELO framework, which is a lens developed for understanding the environmental factors underpinning the obesity pandemic. A review of the literature identified 78 articles, which mostly reported on cross-sectional or qualitative studies. These studies identified a wide range of factors associated with food security. Foremost among them was household financial resources, but many other factors were identified and the complexity of the issue was highlighted. Few studies were prospective and even fewer tested the use of interventions other than the supplemental nutrition assistance program to address food security. This indicates a solution-oriented research paradigm is required to identify effective interventions and policies to enhance food security. In addition, comprehensive top-down and bottom-up interventions at the community and national levels are urgently needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developed Countries*
  • Economics
  • Family Characteristics
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / prevention & control