Background: Persistent household food insecurity may have a greater adverse effect on children's health outcomes than experiencing household food insecurity for a shorter duration.
Objectives: Examine how changing household food security status and prolonged exposure to household marginal food security or food insecurity are associated with changes in children's growth from age 5 to 12.
Methods: We analyzed 204 mother-child dyads from the Center for Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS), a longitudinal birth cohort study of Latino households. Generalized estimating equations assessed how changing household food security status and persistent exposure to marginal food security or food insecurity were associated with growth throughout childhood.
Results: Living in a marginally food secure of food insecure household compared to highly food secure household was associated with a decrease in BMI z-score of 0.18 (0.09, 0.26) between age 9 and 10.5. Changing from a highly food secure household to a marginally food secure or food insecure household was associated with a 0.10 (0.01, 0.20) decrease in body mass index z-score compared to those who persistently lived in highly food secure households.
Conclusions: Changes in food security status and duration of food insecurity were associated with changes in children's growth.
Keywords: BMI; Latino; food insecurity; obesity.
© 2021 World Obesity Federation.