Relationship of Household Food Insecurity to Health-Related Quality of Life in a Large Sample of Rural and Urban Women Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors examined the associations of household food insecurity and other characteristics with fair-to-poor general health, poor physical health, and frequent mental distress among 1,367 rural and urban women in Texas. The 2006 Brazos Valley Community Health Assessment provided data on demographic characteristics, economic risk factors, health-related quality of life, household food insecurity, and geographic residence. Multivariable logistic regression models were estimated for the three health-related quality of life measures: fair-to-poor health, poor physical health, and frequent mental distress, adjusting for confounding variables. Having less than 12 years of education, not being employed full-time, and being household food insecure were independently significantly associated with increased odds for all health-related quality of life outcomes. Rural residence and being nonwhite were associated with fair-to-poor general health, but not physical or mental health. Results from the separate urban and rural models indicated that household food insecurity was associated with fair-to-poor general health among rural women, not among urban women. Poverty and being nonwhite were also associated with increased odds of reporting fair-to-poor general health, but were significant only among urban women. These results emphasize the need for health promotion and policy efforts to consider household food access and availability as part of promoting healthful food choices and good physical and mental health among women, especially rural women.

author list (cited authors)

  • Sharkey, J. R., Johnson, C. M., & Dean, W. R.

citation count

  • 30

publication date

  • July 2011