Objective: The present study is the first to use nationally representative data to compare rates of food insecurity among households with veterans of the US Armed Forces and non-veteran households.
Design: We used data from the 2005-2013 waves of the Current Population Survey - Food Security Supplement to identify rates of food insecurity and very low food security in veteran and non-veteran households. We estimated the odds and probability of food insecurity in veteran and non-veteran households in uncontrolled and controlled models. We replicated these results after separating veteran households by their most recent period of service. We weighted models to create nationally representative estimates.
Setting: Nationally representative data from the 2005-2013 waves of the Current Population Survey - Food Security Supplement.
Subjects: US households (n 388 680).
Results: Uncontrolled models found much lower rates of food insecurity (8·4 %) and very low food security (3·3 %) among veteran households than in non-veteran households (14·4 % and 5·4 %, respectively), with particularly low rates among households with older veterans. After adjustment, average rates of food insecurity and very low food security were not significantly different for veteran households. However, the probability of food insecurity was significantly higher among some recent veterans and significantly lower for those who served during the Vietnam War.
Conclusions: Although adjusting eliminated many differences between veteran and non-veteran households, veterans who served from 1975 and onwards may be at higher risk for food insecurity and should be the recipients of targeted outreach to improve nutritional outcomes.
Keywords: Food insecurity; Nationally representative data; Very low food security; Veterans.