Associations of food insecurity with body mass index among baby boomers and older adults

Sang Nam Ahn, Matthew Lee Smith, Mark Hendricks, Marcia G. Ory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Increasing obesity levels portend a challenging societal healthcare issue, while the current economic crisis may foster food insecurity, characterized by limited or uncertain access to adequate food. This study examines associations among food insecurity, meeting recommendations for dietary and physical activity patterns, and body mass index (BMI) among baby boomers and older adults completing the 2010 Brazos Valley Health Survey. Subjects included 2,985 respondents (1,589 baby boomers and 1,396 older adults). Thirty-six percent of participants were obese while 15 % of participants were food insecure. Approximately 8 % of baby boomers and older adults were both food insecure and obese. Among all study participants, an increased BMI was more common among those who were ethnic minorities and had depression. An increased BMI was less common among those who met fruit/vegetable intake and physical activity recommendations. There was a positive association between food insecurity and BMI only among baby boomer and older adult females. A combined emphasis on availability of healthy foods and increased opportunities for meeting physical activity guidelines can help to counter the food insecurity-obesity connection among both baby boomer and older adult females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-433
Number of pages11
JournalFood Security
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Baby boomers
  • Food insecurity
  • Fruit and vegetable intake
  • Obesity
  • Older adults
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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