Psychosocial risk factors for food insecurity in puerto ricans living in the USA from baseline to 5-year follow-up

Nan Dou, Dixin Xie, Xiang Gao, Natalia Palacios, Luis M. Falcon, Katherine L. Tucker, Muzi Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Food insecurity is prevalent among Puerto Rican adults in the USA and is associated with adverse psychosocial outcomes. However, the direction of this association has not been established in this understudied population. Objectives: In this study, we aimed to examine the longitudinal association between a group of psychosocial risk factors and subsequent food insecurity in a cohort of Puerto Rican adults. Methods: Secondary analysis was conducted using data from the prospective Boston Puerto Rican Health Study. A total of 517 Puerto Rican participants aged 45-75 y in the Boston area who were food secure at baseline, and who completed food security surveys at baseline and 5 y were included. Psychosocial factors, including depressive symptoms, stress, tangible social support, and acculturation were assessed with validated instruments. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine the risk of food insecurity at 5 y, as a function of psychosocial factors at baseline and their changes over 5 y, adjusting for age, sex, education, baseline and change in total annual household income, and in family size. Results: The cumulative incidence of food insecurity at 5 y was 12.6%. The odds of incident food insecurity was significantly associated with baseline depressive symptom score [OR = 1.78 (1.16, 2.76) per each 10 score units], with change in depressive symptom score [OR = 1.50 (1.07, 2.09) per each 10-unit increase], and with change in perceived stress [OR = 1.59 (1.01, 2.51) per each 10-unit increase], after adjusting for potential confounders. Conclusion: In this cohort of Puerto Rican adults, depressive symptoms at baseline, and increases in depressive symptoms and perceived stress over 5 y were associated with a higher risk of food insecurity. Psychosocial health and environment appear to play important roles in predicting risk of food insecurity in the Puerto Rican community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2199-2203
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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