This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Food Insecurity and Undiagnosed Chronic Conditions among Adults




Ding, Meng

Type of Degree



Nutrition and Food Science


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the relationship between food insecurity and undiagnosed chronic conditions, including prediabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, among adults (20-64y). Food security status was assessed by the ten items for adults from Food Security Survey Module. Undiagnosed chronic conditions were determined by comparing self-reported information with clinical examination evidence. The clinical definition for prediabetes was fasting plasma glucose = 100-125 mg/dl or A1C =5.7-6.4%, for hypertension was blood pressure ≥ 140/90 mm Hg, and hyperlipidemia was defined by several criteria, including triglyceride, LDL, HDL and total cholesterol. Food insecure adults were more likely to have undiagnosed prediabetes (odds ratio 1.49, 95% CI 1.17-1.88). The relationship between food insecurity and undiagnosed hypertension and hyperlipidemia no longer existed after adjusting for confounding variables. These results indicate that food insecure adults may not know their risk status for diabetes. Screening for diabetes in food insecure populations appears to be warranted.