Food Insecurity, Food Deserts, and Waist-to-Height Ratio: Variation by Sex and Race/Ethnicity

Alexander Testa, Dylan B. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to investigate the association between two food-related hardships—food insecurity and living in a food desert—on waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). Data on participants from waves I and IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) were analyzed. The association between food-related hardships and waist-to-height ratio were examined using logistic regression. Models were stratified by sex and race/ethnicity to examine potential moderating effects. Study results suggest food insecurity has a positive association with WHtR among female respondents (OR = 1.360, p =.017). Living in a food desert has a positive association with WHtR among both females (OR = 1.247, p =.026) and males (OR = 1.245, p =.024). In models stratified by race/ethnicity living in a food desert is positively associated with WHtR among White respondents (OR = 1.279, p =.003). Given the link between food-related hardships and obesity, targeted interventions that alleviate food insecurity and inadequate access to healthy food retailers could be effective in reducing obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-450
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Food desert
  • Food insecurity
  • Nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Waist-to-height ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Food Insecurity, Food Deserts, and Waist-to-Height Ratio: Variation by Sex and Race/Ethnicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this