Food Security Status among U.S. Older Adults: Functional Limitations Matter

Xuyang Tang, L. A. Blewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study aimed to assess the relationship between food security and health outcomes among older adults (age 65+) in the U.S. We used a pooled sample (2011–2015, N = 37,292) from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and ordered logit models to assess characteristics associated with food security including health conditions (diabetes and hypertension) and functional activity limitations. We estimated that 1.3 million individuals aged 65+ in the U.S. had low/very low food security. Having at least one functional limitation (OR = 1.717, 95% CI = 1.436, 2.054) was significantly associated with low/very low food security. Having fair or poor health status (OR = 3.315, 95% CI = 2.938, 3.739) was also a significant factor for food security among older adults, while having health insurance coverage (OR = 0.467, 95% CI = 0.341, 0.64) was negatively associated with food insecurity. Demographics and socioeconomic characteristics were significantly related to food insecurity among seniors. Seniors with functional limitations and poor health status are at risk for food insecurity. Interventions at the clinical site of care may be useful in addressing food security issues for older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-124
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - May 18 2021

Bibliographical note

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  • Food insecurity
  • health outcomes
  • older adults

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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