Family Structure and Food Insecurity by Race/Ethnicity: Implications for Food and Nutritional Assistance Programs

Christian Vazquez , University of Texas at Austin

Food insecurity is a major public health concern and disproportionately affects minority households and households with non-traditional family structures. The purpose of this cross-sectional study of households is to better understand what populations to target for enrollment into food and nutrition assistance programs. The data (N = 8,610 households) comes from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between family structure (single-parent vs. two-parent) and food insecurity among different race/ethnicities, while controlling for age and education. Among the single-parent households, 21% were food insecure, whereas only 7% of the two-parent households were food insecure. For both the African American group and the White group, the relationship between family structure and food insecurity was significant, but it was larger for African-Americans. Policymakers should consider targeting families at Title 1 schools for enrollment in food and nutrition assistance programs.

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 Presented in Session 9. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions; Gender, Race, & Ethnicity