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      Prevalence of Household-level Food Insecurity and Its Determinants in an Urban Resettlement Colony in North India


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          An adequate food intake, in terms of quantity and quality, is a key to healthy life. Malnutrition is the most serious consequence of food insecurity and has a multitude of health and economic implications. India has the world's largest population living in slums, and these have largely been underserved areas. The State of Food Insecurity in the World (2012) estimates that India is home to more than 217 million undernourished people. Various studies have been conducted to assess food insecurity at the global level; however, the literature is limited as far as India is concerned. The present study was conducted with the objective of documenting the prevalence of food insecurity at the household level and the factors determining its existence in an urban slum population of northern India. This cross-sectional study was conducted in an urban resettlement colony of South Delhi, India. A pre-designed, pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaire was used for collecting socioeconomic details and information regarding dietary practices. Food insecurity was assessed using Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS). Logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the factors associated with food insecurity. A total of 250 women were interviewed through house-to-house survey. Majority of the households were having a nuclear family (61.6%), with mean family-size being 5.5 (SD±2.5) and the mean monthly household income being INR 9,784 (SD±631). Nearly half (53.3%) of the mean monthly household income was spent on food. The study found that a total of 77.2% households were food-insecure, with 49.2% households being mildly food-insecure, 18.8% of the households being moderately food-insecure, and 9.2% of the households being severely food-insecure. Higher education of the women handling food (OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.15-0.92; p≤0.03) and number of earning members in the household (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.48-0.98; p≤0.04) were associated with lesser chance/odds of being food-insecure. The study demonstrated a high prevalence of food insecurity in the marginalized section of the urban society. The Government of India needs to adopt urgent measures to combat this problem.

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          Most cited references38

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          Nutrition and low birth weight: from research to practice.

          Low birth weight (LBW) remains a significant public health problem in many developing countries, and poor nutrition both before and during pregnancy is recognized as an important cause. Emerging evidence on the role of intergenerational effects in determining maternal preconceptual nutritional status indicates the need for continued investment in strategies that improve women's nutrition and health throughout the life cycle, especially during the early years. Controlled trials have shown that improving food intakes during pregnancy effectively reduces LBW, but programs have been less successful because these interventions are expensive and difficult to manage. Multivitamin-mineral supplements have been viewed as a simpler solution, but 2 of 3 controlled trials conducted to date failed to show that multivitamin-mineral supplements are more effective than are iron-folate supplements, which are already the standard of care during pregnancy. Emerging evidence indicating the benefits of iron supplements in improving birth weight illustrate the need for increased efforts to reduce iron deficiency by improving coverage of antenatal programs and promoting fortification. Other causes of LBW include environmental factors, such as smoking; indoor air pollution; and infections, such as malaria. However, little is known about the interactions between nutrition and infection. Underlying social factors, such as poverty and women's status, are also important, especially in South Asia, where more than one-half of the world's LBW infants are born. In summary, strategies that combine nutrition-based interventions, such as improving food intakes and micronutrient status, especially iron status, with approaches that improve women's status and reproductive health are needed to reduce LBW.
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            The state of urban health in India; comparing the poorest quartile to the rest of the urban population in selected states and cities

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              Prevalence and predictors of food insecurity among low-income households in Los Angeles County.

              To assess the prevalence and identify the predictors of food insecurity among households in Los Angeles County with incomes below 300% of the federal poverty level. The Six-Item Short Form of the US Department of Agriculture's Household Food Security Scale was used as part of a 1999 county-wide, population-based, telephone survey. The prevalence of food insecurity was 24.4% and was inversely associated with household income. Other independent predictors of food insecurity included the presence of children in the household (odds ratio (OR) 1.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-2.3) and a history of homelessness in the past five years (OR 5.6, 95% CI 3.4-9.4). Food insecurity is a significant public health problem among low-income households in Los Angeles County. Food assistance programmes should focus efforts on households living in and near poverty, those with children, and those with a history of homelessness.

                Author and article information

                J Health Popul Nutr
                J Health Popul Nutr
                Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition
                International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh
                June 2014
                : 32
                : 2
                : 227-236
                [1] 1Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry, India
                [2] 2Department of Community Medicine, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India
                [3] 3Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
                [4] 4International Food Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, India
                [5] 5Sitaram Bhartia Institute of Science and Research, New Delhi, India
                [6] 6Center for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
                Author notes
                Correspondence and reprint requests: Dr. Kapil Yadav, C/o Center for Community Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110 029, India, Email: dr_kapilyadav@ 123456yahoo.co.in , Fax: +91-11-26588522

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Papers

                Nutrition & Dietetics
                determinants,food insecurity,prevalence,urban slum,north india
                Nutrition & Dietetics
                determinants, food insecurity, prevalence, urban slum, north india


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