Special Issue "Nutrition among Vulnerable Populations"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutritional Epidemiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Heather Eicher-Miller
Website
Guest Editor
Department Nutrition Science, College of Health and Human Science, Purdue University, USA
Interests: Nutrition; Health Disparities; Food Security; Human Nutrition; Nutritional Education; Food Security Analysis; Nutritional Epidemiology; Nutrient Analysis; Community Nutrition; Food Consumption
Prof. Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources – University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, USA
Interests: Nutrition and Health in Indigenous Populations; Nutritional Assessment; Nutrition Education for Underserved Populations

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food insecurity and low resources continue to be a burden influencing the health, well-being, growth, and development of millions of U.S. children and adults. Groups and individuals experiencing restrained access to food are our neighbors, individuals we may see each day, and individuals who we may not interact with or see because of their isolated situations. They include the elderly, those experiencing mental illness, veterans, certain race/ethnic groups, adolescents, young women with children, those living in rural areas, and those using food pantries, among others. Many of these groups, both hidden and visible, have rates of food insecurity above the national average that are resistant to national improvements in food security. Yet, attention to these subsets of the population is imperative to improve U.S. health and nutrition and to reduce rates of chronic disease.

Many groups face specific barriers to maintaining sufficient food, for example, rural populations may find it difficult to access federal food assistance or other resources such as food pantries and nutrition education because of distance or lack of consistent internet access separating them from these resources. Further, their remote locations may make it difficult to obtain the types of foods that they prefer.  Other specific barriers may include limited facilities and equipment for food preparation, access to culturally appropriate foods and preparation supplies, and foods that complement the foods that they already have. Tailored approaches to quantify access to food, the nutrition environment, dietary intake, and other barriers are necessary to build successful interventions and to quantify the needs in these populations.

Very little is known about the nutritional status and dietary intake in these low-resource and food insecure groups, and dietary barriers are not understood. Creating interventions that improve food security and improve dietary intake, however, are dependent on this information. We cannot improve what we do not understand.

In order to begin to fill this gap, the objective of this Special Issue on “Nutrition Among Vulnerable Populations” is to publish selected papers quantifying dietary intake, nutritional status, access to food and food insecurity, barriers to healthful foods and food security, and environmental influences experienced by vulnerable groups with a high prevalence of food insecurity.

Prof. Heather Eicher-Miller
Prof. Marie Kainoa Fialkowski Revilla
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Food insecurity
  • Chronic disease
  • Nutrition environment
  • Dietary intake

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Household Food Insecurity and the Association with Cumulative Biological Risk among Lower-Income Adults: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2007–2010
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1517; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051517 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
Household food insecurity has been associated with adverse health outcomes; however, the mechanisms underlying these associations are not well-defined. Using data from 5005 adults from the 2007–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), we examined associations between household food insecurity and cumulative [...] Read more.
Household food insecurity has been associated with adverse health outcomes; however, the mechanisms underlying these associations are not well-defined. Using data from 5005 adults from the 2007–2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), we examined associations between household food insecurity and cumulative biological risk, a measure of the body’s physiological response to chronic stress. Household food security was assessed using the 18-item Household Food Security Survey Module. Marginal food security refers to 1–2 positive responses, and food insecurity refers to ≥3 positive responses. The cumulative biological risk scores were calculated based on the distributions of ten biomarkers from the cardiovascular, metabolic, and immune systems. Elevated biological risk was defined as a risk score of ≥3. Multivariable regression models were used to examine associations between food security and cumulative biological risk scores, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. After multivariable adjustment, food insecurity was associated with a 0.14-unit higher cumulative biological risk score (95% CI 0.05–0.22, p-trend = 0.003) and higher odds of elevated biological risk (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.05–1.37, p-trend = 0.003). These associations differed by gender. Among women, food insecurity was associated with 0.30-unit higher cumulative biological risk score (95% CI 0.14–0.45, p-trend = 0.0004) and higher odds of elevated biological risk (OR 1.61, 95% CI 1.29–2.00, p-trend < 0.0001). These associations were not observed in men. Women experiencing food insecurity demonstrated elevated levels of biological risk. These findings support the hypothesis that food insecurity may be associated with women’s chronic health outcomes through the pathway of chronic stress. Further research is needed to understand why these associations were not observed in men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition among Vulnerable Populations)
Open AccessArticle
Frequently Consumed Foods and Energy Contributions among Food Secure and Insecure U.S. Children and Adolescents
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020304 - 23 Jan 2020
Abstract
Food insecurity is associated with nutritional risk in children. This study identified and compared the most frequently consumed foods, beverages, and food groups and their contributions to energy intake among U.S. children and adolescents (6–11, 12–17 years) by food security status. Dietary intake [...] Read more.
Food insecurity is associated with nutritional risk in children. This study identified and compared the most frequently consumed foods, beverages, and food groups and their contributions to energy intake among U.S. children and adolescents (6–11, 12–17 years) by food security status. Dietary intake from the day-1, 24-h dietary recall, and household child food security status were analyzed in the 2007–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 8123). Foods and beverages were classified into food categories, ranked, and compared by weighted proportional frequency and energy contribution for food security groups by age. Significant differences between household child food security groups were determined using the Rao-Scott modified chi-square statistic. The weighted proportional frequency of beverages (including diet, sweetened, juice, coffee, and tea) and their energy was significantly higher among food insecure compared with food secure while the reverse was true for water frequency among 12–17 years. Beverage and mixed dish frequency were higher among food insecure compared with food secure 6–11 years while the reverse was true for frequency and energy from snacks. Frequency-differentiated intake patterns for beverages and snacks by food security across age groups may inform dietary recommendations, population-specific dietary assessment tools, interventions, and policy for food insecure children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition among Vulnerable Populations)
Open AccessArticle
Total Usual Micronutrient Intakes Compared to the Dietary Reference Intakes among U.S. Adults by Food Security Status
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010038 - 22 Dec 2019
Abstract
This study examined total usual micronutrient intakes from foods, beverages, and dietary supplements (DS) compared to the Dietary Reference Intakes among U.S. adults (≥19 years) by sex and food security status using NHANES 2011–2014 data (n = 9954). DS data were collected [...] Read more.
This study examined total usual micronutrient intakes from foods, beverages, and dietary supplements (DS) compared to the Dietary Reference Intakes among U.S. adults (≥19 years) by sex and food security status using NHANES 2011–2014 data (n = 9954). DS data were collected via an in-home interview; the NCI method was used to estimate distributions of total usual intakes from two 24 h recalls for food and beverages, after which DS were added. Food security status was categorized using the USDA Household Food Security Survey Module. Adults living in food insecure households had a higher prevalence of risk of inadequacy among both men and women for magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K; similar findings were apparent for phosphorous, selenium, and zinc in men alone. Meanwhile, no differences in the prevalence of risk for inadequacy were observed for calcium, iron (examined in men only), choline, or folate by food security status. Some DS users, especially food secure adults, had total usual intakes that exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, and iron. In conclusion, while DS can be helpful in meeting nutrient requirements for adults for some micronutrients, potential excess may also be of concern for certain micronutrients among supplement users. In general, food insecure adults have higher risk for micronutrient inadequacy than food secure adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition among Vulnerable Populations)
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