The Association of Food Insecurity with Physically and Mentally Healthy Days among Seniors in a Low-Income Community

Yanisbel Ruiz

Authors: Yanisbel Ruiz, Wafaa Ateyah, B.S., Meagan A. Henry, M.A., Carolyn M. Tucker, Ph.D.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Carolyn Tucker

College:  College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


In 2018, 11.1% of U.S. households did not have enough resources to feed all their members (Coleman-Jensen et al., 2019). Food insecurity is linked to declines in physical and mental health outcomes (Gundersen & Ziliak, 2015) and is most prevalent in low-income, minority populations. Examples of the consequences of food insecurity include depression, stress, and chronic diseases such as obesity, and diabetes.

The Health-Smart Holistic Health and Wellness Centers Program is a community-engaged program to study and address physical and mental health of seniors in a low-income area within Jacksonville, FL. The present study examines the relationship between food insecurity and self-reported physically healthy days and mentally healthy days among the participating seniors. The participants (N = 441) consist mostly of females (77.6%) and Black/African Americans (92.1%) ranging in age from 60-97 (M = 69, SD = 6.88). Food insecurity was measured using the USDA Adult Food Security Survey, and mentally and physically healthy days were measured using the CDC Health-Related Quality of Life-14 Healthy Days Core Module (CDC-HRQOL-14, 2000). We hypothesize that there will be a negative correlation between increasing food insecurity and both the numbers of physically healthy days and mentally healthy days.

Poster Pitch

Click the video below to view the student's poster pitch.


Click the image to enlarge.
10 Responses
  1. Anonymous

    Your research poster layout and design is very eye-catching and looks well put together, great job!

  2. jennifer lantz

    food insecurity is a big issue that needs to be addressed. thank you for covering such a topic.

    1. Anonymous

      Of course, I think food insecurity is a topic that we as a nation need to address to help close that health disparity gap.

  3. Very important research. I would think that most people don’t really think about food insecurity issues. They just assume that Americans (especially adults) don’t have this problem. Good job.