Household food insecurity and associated factors in the Northeast of Iran: a cross-sectional study : Household food security in Northern Iran

BMC Nutr. 2023 Jan 3;9(1):5. doi: 10.1186/s40795-022-00665-x.


Background: Food Insecurity (FI) is a global health concern. For the first time, this study evaluated households' food insecurity and factors related to it in Golestan province, North of Iran.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 5129 randomly selected households in the Golestan Province in 2016. Sociodemographic characteristics, including age, ethnicity, household size, education level, and occupation status, were collected via interview. The prevalence and severity of food insecurity were identified by the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS), whose scores are between 0 and 27, with larger values indicating more severe food insecurity. The prevalence of food insecurity based on the geographical area was presented using GIS.

Results: Out of 5129 households, 2216 (43.21%) had food security, and 2913 (56.79%) households had food insecurity, with a Mean ± SD HFIAS score of 4.86 ± 5.95. Out of 2913 households with FI, 1526 (52.39%), 956 (32.82%), and 431 (14.79%) had mild, moderate, and severe food insecurity, respectively. Among 14 regions of the province, three regions had the most cases of food insecurity. Food insecurity (moderate or severe) was significantly associated with mothers as the household head (adjusted OR = 1.67, 95% CI: 1.03-2.70) and lower education level of the household head.

Conclusion: The prevalence of household food insecurity in the Golestan Province is higher than the national average. Factors such as literacy, employment status, and gender of the household head can be significantly associated with food insecurity.

Keywords: Food insecurity; GIS; HFIAS; Household.