Food insecurity, healthcare, and mental health services: Examining race/ethnicity as a moderating variable
University of New Brunswick
Food insecurity (FI), a social determinant of physical and mental health, is a public health problem. Therefore, it is unsurprising that people who are food insecure report differences in their use of, and access to, medical and mental health services. Similarly, race/ethnicity is a social determinant of health, and people who are non-White generally reported differences in service use/accessibility compared to their White counterparts. Despite these interrelationships between FI, race/ethnicity, and healthcare outcomes, no study in the Canadian literature has investigated race/ethnicity as a moderator of FI-healthcare associations. The current study addressed this gap using data from the 2015-2016 Canadian Community Health Survey. As exploratory analyses, two methods of modelling food security (FS) status were compared. Results indicated that: 1) Race/ethnicity rarely moderated FI-healthcare associations, and, 2) Interpretations of relationships at times differed based on the method of modelling FS status. Findings have implications for healthcare and poverty-related policies.
INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Health and medical services in society, INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Ethnicity