Relationship of Food Insecurity to Women's Dietary Outcomes: A Systematic Review




Johnson, Cassandra M.
Sharkey, Joseph R.
Lackey, Mellanye J.
Adair, Linda S.
Aiello, Allison E.
Bowen, Sarah K.
Fang, Wei
Flax, Valerie L.
Ammerman, Alice S.

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Oxford University Press


Context: Food insecurity matters for women's nutrition and health. Objective: This review sought to comprehensively evaluate how food insecurity relates to a full range of dietary outcomes (food groups, total energy, macronutrients, micronutrients, and overall dietary quality) among adult women living in Canada and the United States. Data Sources: Peer-reviewed databases (PubMed/MEDLINE, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science) and gray literature sources from 1995 to 2016 were searched. Data Extraction: Observational studies were used to calculate a percentage difference in dietary intake for food-insecure and food-secure groups. Results: Of the 24 included studies, the majority found food-insecure women had lower food group frequencies (dairy, total fruits and vegetables, total grains, and meats/meat alternatives) and intakes of macro- and micronutrients relative to food-secure women. Methodological quality varied. Among high-quality studies, food insecurity was negatively associated with dairy, fruits and vegetables, grains, meats/meats alternatives, protein, total fat, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamins A and C, and folate. Conclusions: Results hold practical relevance for selecting nutritional targets in programs, particularly for nutrient-rich foods with iron and folate, which are more important for women’s health.



adult, diet records, female, food supply, hunger, nutrition policy, review literature as topic, Family and Consumer Sciences


Johnson, C. M., Sharkey, J. R., Lackey, M. J., Adair, L. S., Aiello, A. E., Bowen, S. K., Fang, W., Flax, V. L., & Ammerman, A. S. (2018). Relationship of food insecurity to women's dietary outcomes: A systematic review. Nutrition Reviews, 76(12), pp. 910-928.


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