Food Insecurity in Portugal Among Middle- and Older-Aged Adults at a Time of Economic Crisis Recovery: Prevalence and Determinants

Isabel Maia, Teresa Monjardino, Brenda Frias, Helena Canhão, Jaime Cunha Branco, Raquel Lucas, Ana Cristina Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To characterize the scenario of food insecurity in Portugal at a time of economic crisis recovery is of the utmost relevance. Objective: This study aimed to estimate the prevalence and to identify the determinants of food insecurity during economic crisis recovery in a population-based urban sample of middle- and older-aged Portuguese adults. Methods: A cross-sectional study including 604 participants of the EPIPorto cohort was conducted. Data on sociodemographic characteristics and on food security status were collected. Food security status was assessed using the US Household Food Security Survey Module: Six-Item Short Form. Logistic regression models, crude and adjusted for sex, age, education, and household income perception, were performed. Results: The prevalence of food insecurity was 16.6%. Women (odds ratio [OR] = 1.96; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.09-3.54), those less educated (OR = 5.46; 95% CI: 2.84-10.46), and those who had the perception of an insufficient household income (OR = 10.39; 95% CI: 5.00-21.56) were more likely to belong to a food insecure household. Unmarried individuals (OR = 1.79; 95% CI: 1.05-3.06) and lower white-collar workers (OR = 2.22; 95% CI: 1.03-4.77) were also more prone to live within a food insecure household, regardless of sex, age, education, and household income perception. Conclusions: The obtained information is valuable for the development of intervention strategies to reduce food insecurity in middle- and older-aged adults, suggesting that women, unmarried, less educated individuals, less skilled workers, and lower income families should be targeted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-513
Number of pages10
JournalFood and nutrition bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • adults
  • EPIPorto
  • food insecurity
  • prevalence
  • social determinants of health


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