Edward Frongillo:

Document Type



OBJECTIVE: To examine associations between household food insecurity and children's physical activity and sedentary behaviours. DESIGN: Secondary analysis was conducted on the Healthy Communities Study, an observational study from 2013 to 2015. Household food insecurity was assessed by two items from the US Department of Agriculture's 18-item US Household Food Security Survey Module. Physical activity was measured using the 7-d Physical Activity Behavior Recall instrument. Data were analyzed using multilevel statistical modelling. SETTING: A total of 130 communities in the USA. PARTICIPANTS: In sum, 5138 US children aged 4-15 years. RESULTS: No associations were found for the relationship between household food insecurity and child physical activity. A significant interaction between household food insecurity and child sex for sedentary behaviors was observed (P = 0·03). CONCLUSIONS: Additional research capturing a more detailed assessment of children's experiences of food insecurity in relation to physical activity is warranted. Future studies may consider adopting qualitative study designs or utilizing food insecurity measures that specifically target child-level food insecurity. Subsequent research may also seek to further explore sub-group analyses by sex.

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© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

APA Citation

Navarro, S., Tsai, M., Ritchie, L., Frongillo, E., Laraia, B., Pate, R., & Au, L. (2021). Household food insecurity and children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the United States: the Healthy Communities Study. Public Health Nutrition, 1-8.