Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition

Location: Auditorium

Poster Board Number: 167

P06-147 - Associations between sociodemographic, and economic characteristics with food insecurity among older adults in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA): does social support matter?

Monday, Jun 11
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Objectives: Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continues to experience high prevalence of food insecurity (FI). Research indicates that low income, low education levels, rural residence, ageing, high dependency levels, and lack of social capital or support contribute to FI in SSA. The present study aimed to, 1) examine whether social capital, support and participation attenuate the associations of these characteristics and severe food insecurity (SFI) among older adults in SSA, and 2) determine whether this attenuation is variable by social factor.

Data of 11,228 respondents aged 50 years and above from the 2014 and 2015 Gallup World Poll (GWP) surveys were included in this analysis.  GWP collected FI data using The Food Insecurity Experience Scale. We used logistic regression analysis, adjusting for country and GWP survey year as fixed effects.

Social capital, support, and participation were inversely associated with SFI for both older men and women. Social capital outside the country was most inversely associated with SFI for both older men (OR=0·484; 95 % CI 0·415, 0·564), and older women (OR=0·547; 95 % CI 0·468, 0·641), followed by instrumental support, (OR=0·580; 95 % CI 0·489, 0·676) for older men, and (OR=0·661; 95 % CI 0·567, 0·770) for older women. Affective support had higher attenuating effects for older men. The association of low income and SFI was attenuated by all these social factors for older men, but instrumental support did not attenuate this association for older women; ageing was no longer significantly associated with SFI for both groups considering social participation and affective support (p>0.05).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that social capital, support and participation could offset the negative impact of these characteristics on food security of older adults in SSA. Strategies to increase social relationships in this group could enhance their social support, and may protect against consequences of FI.

CoAuthors: Nadine Sahyoun – University of Maryland

Edwina Wambogo

Rockville, Maryland