Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Health Promotion, Education and Behavior

First Advisor

Edward Frongillo


Objectives: Examine the association between food insecurity (FI) and physical activity (PA) in the U.S. population.

Methods: Accelerometry (PAM) and self-report PA (PAQ) data from NHANES 2003-2006 were used. Those aged less than six years or were older than 65 years, pregnant, with physical limitations, or with family income above 350% of the poverty line were excluded. FI was measured by the USDA Household Food Security Survey Module. Crude and adjusted odd ratios were calculated from logistic regression to identify the association between FI and adherence to the PA recommendation. Crude and adjusted coefficients were calculated from linear regression to identify the association between FI and both sedentary and activity minutes.

Results: In children, FI was not associated with adherence to PA recommendation measured via PAM or PAQ (p>0.05) but was significantly associated with sedentary minutes (adjusted coefficient=10.74, one-sided p<0.05). Food-insecure children did less moderate-to-vigorous PA than did food-secure children (adjusted coefficient = -5.31, p = 0.032). In adults, FI was significantly associated with PA (adjusted OR=0.722 for PAM and OR=0.839 for PAQ, one-sided p<0.05) but not associated with sedentary minutes (p>0.05)

Conclusions: FI children were more sedentary and FI adults were less likely to adhere to the PA recommendation than those without FI.

Included in

Public Health Commons