Home Food Safety Practice and Household Food Insecurity: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach
Background: Food safety and food security are interrelated concepts with a profound impact on the quality of human life. The current study, for the first time, was set to identify associations between home food safety practice and household food insecurity a structural equation modeling approach.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, urban households were selected from among 10 health centers of five districts of Tehran, Iran (2015). The following questionnaires were completed: socioeconomic status (SES), food security and food safety. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was applied for predicting the relationships between SES, food insecurity, and food safety in households.
Results: Food security was observed in 56% of households. Mild, moderate and severe food-insecure households were determined to be 29%, 12%, and 3%, respectively. In addition, the scores of home food safety practice in 37.5%, 33% and 29.5% of the households were classified as desirable, acceptable and weak, respectively. Low-educated mothers having husbands with low educational and occupational level had a weaker food safety practice compared to high-educated ones. Based on the SEM results, an inverse association between food safety practice and food insecurity score was observed (t= -2.89, ɣ= 0.16).
Conclusion: Food insecurity and undesirable food safety practice were relatively prevalent among households. In addition, the economic and social factors could inversely affect both food insecurity and food safety practices.
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