Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected many different aspects of people’s lives around the world, including household food security. This study aims to investigate the food security status and its determinants, with emphasis on perceived social support among the Iranian population during the epidemic..
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 2,871 Iranian adults by social media in all provinces of the country. Demographic and socioeconomic information, household food security status and perceived social support status were assessed by the validated questionnaires. Data was analyzed by statistical package for the social sciences version 22.0, with one-way ANOVA, Chi-square and multinomial logistic regression tests.
The prevalence of food security among the studied population was 55.2%. The results indicated that perceived social support plays a protective role on food security [odds ratio (OR) = 1.07, confidence interval (CI) = 1.06, 1.09, P-value < 0.001]. Reduced income during the epidemic [OR = 0.29, CI = 0.17, 0.47, P-value < 0.001] and presence of an old person (>65 years old) in the household [OR = 1.72, CI = 1.14, 2.60, P-value < 0.05], were significantly higher among moderate to severe food insecure group than food-secure group. More monthly income [OR = 0.28, CI = 0.13, 0.57, P-value < 0.001] and homeownership [OR = 1.83, CI = 1.22, 2.75, P-value < 0.05] were also predictors of food security status.
The development of supportive strategies which act immediately can protect vulnerable people against the consequences of the epidemic, including food insecurity. Long-term planning should also be considered to improve society’s resistance against such disasters.
The authors would like to thank the participants in the study, and those who shared the questionnaire.
Funding: This research grants related to COVID-19, from Vice-Chancellor of Research Affairs, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences (code: 413, date of approval: 2 August 2020).
Ezzeddin, N., Kalantari, N. and Veysi, Z. (2022), "Perceived social support is greater among food secure Iranian households during the COVID-19 outbreak", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/NFS-07-2021-0216
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