Food security and related health risk among adults in the Limpopo Province of South Africa
Keywords:household food insecurity, obesity, hypertension, health risk determinants, adults, South Africa
Food insecurity, obesity and hypertension remain major public health issues related to nutrition in South Africa. The purpose of this study was to determine household food security and the health risk of the adult population in the Limpopo Province using cross-sectional designs. A stratified random sampling method was used to recruit adults aged 18 to 65 years in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Data were collected using a validated, structured questionnaire. All data were analysed using SPSS version 25.0. The study included 640 participants with an average age of 36.2±17.6 years and a household size of five persons; 74.5% of participants fell in the low monthly income bracket (≤ZAR3000). The mean dietary diversity score was 3.99 (CI: 2.79–5.19). The prevalence of food insecurity was 31.3%, obesity 35.2% and hypertension 32.3%. Being a woman, older and married significantly positively influenced obesity and hypertension. Also, a healthy eating lifestyle such as high dietary diversity was found to positively influence obesity status, while daily eating of fruit and vegetables positively significantly influenced the hypertension status of participants (p<0.05). Food insecurity, obesity and hypertension rates remain high among adults in the Limpopo Province of South Africa with consumption of a diet low in dietary variety. Aged and married women were more likely to be obese and hypertensive, while daily fruit and vegetable intake were found to be a protective factor. Educational and nutritional intervention should be designed and geared towards promoting fruit and vegetable intake in the community.
- Households had a diet low in dietary variety, with dietary diversity revealed as a determinant of health risk.
- Dietary diversity is inversely correlated with household food security.
- The findings also identified household determinants of obesity and hypertension, which are major public health issues in South Africa.
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University of Venda
Grant numbers SHS/08/NUT/003