Food insecurity is associated with increased weight loss attempts in children and adolescents.
Household food insecurity (HFI) has been associated with adverse childhood outcomes and shares many common risk factors with obesity. Half of adolescents with overweight or obesity are actively attempting to lose weight. We aim to evaluate whether HFI is associated with weight loss attempts and unhealthy weight loss control practices in children. We examined cross-sectional data of children ages 8 to 15 years old from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Attempted weight loss was more common among children with very low food security (OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.09, 2.07). Children with a healthy weight with very low food security had increased odds of attempting weight loss (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.00, 2.26) but there was no association in children with overweight or obesity. Very low food security was also associated with unhealthy weight control practices (OR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.04, 1.93). Physicians should counsel all children and adolescents on healthy and unhealthy weight loss behaviours, regardless of weight or food security status.
Masler, IV; Palakshappa, D; Skinner, AC; Skelton, JA; Brown, CL
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