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Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia

Print version ISSN 1809-9823


ROSA, Tereza Etsuko da Costa et al. Food security in households headed by elderly, Brazil. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol. [online]. 2012, vol.15, n.1, pp.69-77. ISSN 1809-9823.

Food security in households headed by elderly people has special dimension as for health and welfare, since it is clearly important to ensure that they go on contributing to society in an active and productive way. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of food insecurity in households whose heads are older, according to socio-demographic characteristics. METHODS: It is a descriptive study with households whose heads have 60 years of age or over declared, selected from the National Sample Household Survey - PNAD 2004. We applied the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale, ranking the households into food security and food insecurity, moderate and severe. Descriptive analysis of data included the frequency distribution of households according to levels of food insecurity in the strata of socio-demographic variables, taking into account the design effect. RESULTS: The study showed that 29.8% of households were in the condition of food insecurity and that this condition was significantly associated with less affluent regions (north / northeast, rural), with the most vulnerable population segments (the poorest and least educated) and also with characteristics of gender (women) and race (Indian, mulatto and black) which is known to occupy the lower levels of social hierarchy. CONCLUSION: The distribution of food insecurity in households headed by elderly people, following a similar trend of Brazilian households, confirms the higher prevalence of this condition in socioeconomic disadvantaged population or characteristics associated with poverty.

Keywords : Elderly; Socioeconomic factors; Quality of life; Feeding behavior; Food insecurity.

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