Food insecurity in a pre-bariatric surgery sample: Prevalence, demographics and food shopping behaviour

Julia A. Price, Hana F. Zickgraf, Andrea Rigby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify the prevalence and demographic characteristics of food insecurity in a presurgical bariatric population. To date there has been no research on food insecurity in a presurgical bariatric population. Design: Participants completed the ten-item adult food security survey module created by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), with additional questions related to food shopping behaviours and perceived affordability of post-bariatric supplements. USDA scoring guidelines were used to classify participants as food secure, marginally food secure and food insecure. Setting: Academic medical centre bariatric surgery clinic in Central Pennsylvania, USA.Participants: Adult bariatric surgery candidates (n 174). Results: There was a prevalence of 17.8 % for food insecurity and 27.6 % for marginal food security. Food insecurity was associated with younger age, higher BMI, non-White race/ethnicity, having less than a college education, living in an urban area, receiving Medicaid/Medicare and participating in nutrition assistance programmes. Food-insecure participants endorsed food shopping behaviours that could interfere with postsurgical dietary adherence and perceived post-bariatric supplies as unaffordable or inaccessible. Conclusions: These results highlight the importance of screening bariatric surgical patients for food insecurity. Further study of this important problem within the bariatric population should address effects of food insecurity and related shopping behaviours on postsurgical outcomes and inform the development of programmes to better assist these high-risk patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2756-2765
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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