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.