Relationship of food insecurity to women’s dietary outcomes: a systematic review Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

altmetric score

  • 10.4

author list (cited authors)

  • Johnson, C. M., Sharkey, J. R., Lackey, M. J., Adair, L. S., Aiello, A. E., Bowen, S. K., ... Ammerman, A. S.

citation count

  • 18

publication date

  • September 2018