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The new normal for food insecurity? A repeated cross-sectional survey over 1 year during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia

Citation

Kent, K and Murray, S and Penrose, B and Auckland, S and Horton, E and Lester, E and Visentin, D, The new normal for food insecurity? A repeated cross-sectional survey over 1 year during the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 19 Article 115. ISSN 1479-5868 (2022) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright Statement

2022. The Authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1186/s12966-022-01347-4

Abstract

Background: Food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic has been impacted by necessary public health restrictions. Tasmania, an island state south of the Australian mainland, recorded no community transmission of COVID-19 between May 2020 to November 2021 due to strong border restrictions. This study aimed to determine the changes in prevalence and sociodemographic predictors of food insecurity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in Tasmania, Australia.

Methods: In May 2020 (survey 1: during lockdown), September 2020 (survey 2: eased restrictions) and May 2021 (survey 3: 1-year post-lockdown), cross-sectional, online surveys using convenience sampling methods determined food insecurity in Tasmanian adults using the USDA Household Food Security Survey Module: Six-Item Short Form, in addition to key sociodemographic questions. Crude and age-adjusted prevalence of food insecurity was calculated, and binary logistic regression determined at-risk groups and changes in prevalence over time.

Results: The age-adjusted prevalence of food insecurity was 27.9% during lockdown (n = 1168), 19.5% when restrictions had eased (n = 1097) and 22.6% 1-year post-lockdown (n = 1100). Young adults, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, individuals with disabilities, families with dependents and temporary residents were at highest risk across all time points.

Conclusions: The prevalence of food insecurity was higher than pre-pandemic levels across all three time points. Our results indicate the potential long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security in Australia, where despite easing social distancing restrictions and a lack of COVID-19 transmission, the prevalence of food insecurity reduced, but did not recover to pre-pandemic levels 1-year following a lockdown.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:food security, food access, food supply, COVID-19
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Nutrition and dietetics
Research Field:Public health nutrition
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Nutrition
UTAS Author:Kent, K (Dr Katherine Kent)
UTAS Author:Murray, S (Ms Sandra Murray)
UTAS Author:Penrose, B (Dr Beth Penrose)
UTAS Author:Auckland, S (Mr Stuart Auckland)
UTAS Author:Horton, E (Ms Ella Horton)
UTAS Author:Lester, E (Professor Libby Lester)
UTAS Author:Visentin, D (Dr Denis Visentin)
ID Code:153119
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2022-09-07
Last Modified:2022-11-21
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