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Perceived social support is greater among food secure Iranian households during the COVID-19 outbreak

Neda Ezzeddin (Department of Community Nutrition, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences , Tehran, Iran)
Naser Kalantari (Department of Community Nutrition, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute and Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences , Tehran, Iran)
Zahra Veysi (Department of Community Nutrition, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences , Tehran, Iran)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 12 January 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

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..

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

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).

Citation

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

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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