The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of food insecurity (FI) in families with elderly members and to describe their socio-demographic profile. The study focused on families with members aged 65 years or more (n = 195) participating in a household survey in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, in 2003. The Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale, an adaptation of the USDA FI module, was used to diagnose food security/insecurity (FS/FI). Mild FI was present in 33.0% of families, moderate in 11.8%, and severe in 7.2%. The elderly had no income in < 5.0% of the families. Families with FI, as in the United States, had a greater proportion of elderly with low income and low level of education (no schooling or incomplete primary schooling). A significantly higher proportion of daily qualitative food intake was observed in FS families (vegetables 92.3 vs. 61.8%; OR = 7.4; 95%CI: 2.9-19.6; meat 74.2 vs. 43.1%; OR = 3.8; 95%CI: 1.9-7.3; fruit 77.4 vs. 49.0%; OR = 3.6; 95%CI: 1.8-6.9). The elderly contribute to family income and thus do not pose a burden to their families.
Food Consumption; Aged; Nutrition Survey