Background Food insecurity exists whenever the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or the ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways is limited or uncertain. It is a multidimensional, dynamic phenomenon that exists even in industrialised countries. The aim of this work was to estimate its prevalence and some of its social determinants in the Paris metropolitan area (PMA).
Methods We used data from the SIRS cohort, a longitudinal health and socio epidemiological, population based, and representative survey of the general population of the PMA. This cross sectional analysis was based on the 2010 data. Food insecurity was estimated using the US-HFSS and computed in a three categories variable: food secure, low food secure and very low food secure and in a dichotomous variable for logistic regressions (food insecurity: yes/no).
Results In 2010 about 94% of the households living in Paris metropolitan area were food secure. The remaining households—6.3%, 95% CI=[3.9 to 2.7], that is, approximatively 500 000 individuals - had experienced food insecurity during the past year. Almost 2.5% of the household living in Paris metropolitan area were in very low food security. If income was a major determinant of food insecurity (FI), some household's characteristics were associated with FI: single parent's families (OR=2.79, p<0.001) and one person households (OR=3.95, p<0.001). Households headed by employee had also more risks to be FI (OR=2.0, p<0.025, ref=executives).
Conclusion Household food insecurity is not rare in the PMA which needs further researches and a specific attention of social and welfare policies.
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