Food insecurity with hunger is associated with obesity among HIV-infected and at risk women in Bronx, NY

Nicole Sirotin, Donald R. Hoover, Qiuhu Shi, Kathryn Anastos, Sheri D. Weiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Food insecurity, insufficient quality and quantity of nutritionally adequate food, affects millions of people in the United States (US) yearly, with over 18 million Americans reporting hunger. Food insecurity is associated with obesity in the general population. Due to the increasing prevalence of obesity and risk factors for cardiovascular disease among HIV-infected women, we sought to determine the relationship between food insecurity and obesity in this cohort of urban, HIV-infected and -uninfected but at risk women. Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, we collected data on food insecurity, body mass index and demographic and clinical data from 231 HIV-infected and 119 HIV-negative women enrolled in Bronx site of the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). We used multivariate logistic regression to identify factors associated with obesity. Results: Food insecurity was highly prevalent, with almost one third of women (110/350, 31%) reporting food insecurity over the previous six months and over 13% of women reported food insecurity with hunger. Over half the women were obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of ≥30. In multivariate analyses, women who were food insecure with hunger had higher odds of obesity (Adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 2.56, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 1.27, 5.20) after adjusting for HIV status, age, race, household status, income, drug and alcohol use. Conclusion: Food insecurity with hunger was associated with obesity in this population of HIV-infected and -uninfected, urban women. Both food insecurity and obesity are independent markers for increased mortality; further research is needed to understand this relationship and their role in adverse health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere105957
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 27 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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