Is Body Composition Related to Food Insecurity among Older Adults in India? Evidence from the Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health

Joshua M. Schrock, University of Oregon
Heather McClure, University of Oregon
Nirmala Naidoo, World Health Organization (WHO)

Associations between food insecurity and body composition are understudied, especially in developing countries and among older adults. To address this gap in the literature, we analyzed data from a sample of older adults in India. We performed multinomial logistic regressions examining associations between food insecurity and categories of body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC). Food insecurity was associated with greater odds of underweight BMI (<18.5kg/m2) vs. normal BMI (18.5–22.9kg/m2) (OR=1.229, P=0.008) and lower odds of obese WC (men >102cm, women >88cm) vs. normal WC (men =90cm, women =80cm) (OR=0.714, P=0.009). Subsequent analyses revealed that these associations were particularly strong among women and rural residents. The comparison of these results with those from high-income western countries suggests that associations between food insecurity and body composition vary across socioeconomic and nutritional contexts, but the high impact of food insecurity upon women may be a common thread.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 187: Cross National Comparisons of Health and Mortality from the SAGE Study