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Prevalence of food insecurity and the association with disability and muscle strength in older adults in Sub Saharan Africa
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Food insecurity in older people in Sub Saharan Africa remains to be among the most neglected public health issues. The perception of older people as being economically dependent and passive has made them an invisible population on the government agendas. Hence, studies exploring the critical issues; such as food insecurity and the impact it has on their physical capacity, in this population is lacking.

Aims: This study aims to assess the prevalence of food insecurity through food availability and accessibility indicators and see their pattern within the various socio-demographic factors. It further aims to predict the impact of these indicators on the functioning and muscle strength of the older adults.

Methods: Nationally representative standardized data collected from adults aged 50 years and above who took part in World Health Organization (WHO) Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) Wave 1 in Ghana and South Africa was analyzed. Pooled country data with survey weight is used. Chi square test is used to assess the association between food security indicators and socio-demographic factors. Linear Regression models are used to examine the association between food security indicators and disability, grip strength and walking speed. Disability was measured using the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule Version 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0).

Results: Prevalence of food insecurity with regards to availability and accessibility indicators is 36.65% and 29.29%, respectively. Women experienced hunger more than men. Living in rural areas, being aged 80 years and above, being separated/divorced/widowed, not receiving any formal schooling and being in the lowest wealth quintile all show a strong association with being food insecure. In the multivariable linear regression, disability score increased when moving from the no limitation group to the limitation group for both availability (Coefficient= 4.93) and accessibility (Coefficient=7.19) indicators, after controlling for covariates. Grip strength decreased when moving from having no limitation on food availability (Coefficient=-4.21) and accessibility (Coefficient=-2.46) to having limitation on these indicators after controlling for covariates.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that food insecurity in older people is among the major public health problems and shows the impact it has on functioning of the older people. The findings will shed light on the issue of food insecurity in older adults and be a platform for further research in these fields.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 22
Series
Centre for Public Health Report Series, ISSN 1651-341X ; 2017:39
Keywords [en]
Food security, Food Insecurity, Older adults, Sub Saharan Africa, Muscle strength, Disability
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-143200OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-143200DiVA, id: diva2:1167581
External cooperation
WHO SAGE - Paul Kowal
Educational program
Master's Programme in Public Health
Presentation
2017-05-23, Natural sciences building, room N280, Umeå University, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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