The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of Food and Nutritional Insecurity (FNI) and its association with socio-demographic factors in a population under social vulnerability of a metropolitan region in the Southern Brazil. The outcome (FNI) was determined through the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale and the independent variables analysed were gender, skin colour, age, marital status and scholarity. Categorical variables are presented in percentages and χ2 test (Yates' correction for 2×2 tables) analysed the existence of associations. The significance (p) was set at 5%. The sample was formed by 123 collectors of recycled material members of six cooperatives. The FNI in this population was high (61%), and according to the independent variables the prevalences were: adults 92%, non-white 70.7%, women 69.3%, non-married 54.7% and illiterate 52%. The statistical analysis only showed association with gender, women presented more prevalence of FNI than men, 69.3% and 30.7% respectively, (p=0.002). The results showed high prevalence of FNI in the population investigated and the women have more probability to present food intake in insufficient quality and quantity. This way actions that aim the improvement of adequate food intake access without damaging the access to other essential necessities like food intake practices promoters health that respect the cultural diversity and that is, environmentally, culturally, economically and socially sustainable must be intensified once Brazil has public politics in this area but does not achieve the investigated population in the correct way.
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