Pediatric Weight Management

PWM: Eating Behaviors of Children (2006)

Citation:
Matheson DM, Varady J, Varady A, Killen JD. Household food security and nutritional status of Hispanic children in the fifth grade.  Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:210-7. PubMed ID: 12081837
 
Study Design:
Cross-Sectional Study
Class:
D - Click here for explanation of classification scheme.
Quality Rating:
Neutral NEUTRAL: See Quality Criteria Checklist below.
Research Purpose:
To examine the relations among household food insecurity, household food supplies, and school-age children's dietary intakes and body mass indexes.
Inclusion Criteria:
Convenience sample from 8 elementary schools; part of school-based obesity-prevention study.
Exclusion Criteria:
Description of Study Protocol:

Anthropometric data on the children's weights and heights were collected. Three 24-hour dietary recalls were conducted.

Mothers provided reports of household food insecurity and household food supplies

Statistical analyses:

Unequal variance t-test

Data Collection Summary:

Dependent

BMI (measured wt, ht)

Independent 

Food insecurity (18-item USDA Core Food Security Module):

  • Food secure
  • Food insecure without hunger
  • Food insecure with moderate hunger
  • Food insecure with severe hunger

Confounding

No multivariate analyses

Description of Actual Data Sample:

N: 124 males and females 

Age: 9.9-12.5 y (fifth grade)

Ethnicity: mostly Hispanic (87% of mothers)

SES: SES not described (24% food insecure without hunger, 9% food insecure with hunger, 2% food insecure with severe hunger)

Location:  northern CA, US

Summary of Results:

Food Insecurity and BMI

Food insecurity was negatively associated with BMI:  mean BMI for children from food-secure households was 21.2 (“at risk for overweight” range) and for children from food insecure households (all food insecure categories combined) was 19.8 (normal weigh range) (p = 0.04).

No significant difference in height; no evidence of stunting.

Food Insecurity and Dietary Intake

Significant drop in at-home energy and meat intake as payday approached in children from food-insecure compared to food-secure households (p < 0.05).  Also significantly less meat consumed in food insecure compared to food secure and food insecure with hunger (p < 0.05).

The authors also report a significant association between household food supplies and level of household food security for most food categories:

  • meat
  • breads and cereals
  • milk
  • fruit
  • vegetables

However, there was no significant difference in the availability of convenience of snack foods.

Author Conclusion:

The ages and sex-adjusted BMIs for the food-insecure children were lower than those of the food-secure children but were still within normal range.  The lower BMIs in the food-insecure children may have been due to short-term, yet periodic food restrictions that resulted as household food supplies diminished before payday.

Funding Source:
Government: NIH, California Dept of Health Services CRP
University/Hospital: Stanford University
Reviewer Comments:

Strengths:

  • used USDA Core Food Security Module

Weaknesses:

  • convenience sample
  • undefined inclusion/exclusion criteria
Quality Criteria Checklist: Primary Research
Relevance Questions
  1. Would implementing the studied intervention or procedure (if found successful) result in improved outcomes for the patients/clients/population group? (Not Applicable for some epidemiological studies) N/A
  2. Did the authors study an outcome (dependent variable) or topic that the patients/clients/population group would care about? Yes
  3. Is the focus of the intervention or procedure (independent variable) or topic of study a common issue of concern to dieteticspractice? Yes
  4. Is the intervention or procedure feasible? (NA for some epidemiological studies) N/A
 
Validity Questions
1. Was the research question clearly stated? Yes
  1.1. Was (were) the specific intervention(s) or procedure(s) [independent variable(s)] identified? Yes
  1.2. Was (were) the outcome(s) [dependent variable(s)] clearly indicated? Yes
  1.3. Were the target population and setting specified? Yes
2. Was the selection of study subjects/patients free from bias? No
  2.1. Were inclusion/exclusion criteria specified (e.g., risk, point in disease progression, diagnostic or prognosis criteria), and with sufficient detail and without omitting criteria critical to the study? No
  2.2. Were criteria applied equally to all study groups? No
  2.3. Were health, demographics, and other characteristics of subjects described? No
  2.4. Were the subjects/patients a representative sample of the relevant population? Yes
3. Were study groups comparable? N/A
  3.1. Was the method of assigning subjects/patients to groups described and unbiased? (Method of randomization identified if RCT) N/A
  3.2. Were distribution of disease status, prognostic factors, and other factors (e.g., demographics) similar across study groups at baseline? N/A
  3.3. Were concurrent controls or comparisons used? (Concurrent preferred over historical control or comparison groups.) N/A
  3.4. If cohort study or cross-sectional study, were groups comparable on important confounding factors and/or were preexisting differences accounted for by using appropriate adjustments in statistical analysis? N/A
  3.5. If case control study, were potential confounding factors comparable for cases and controls? (If case series or trial with subjects serving as own control, this criterion is not applicable.) N/A
  3.6. If diagnostic test, was there an independent blind comparison with an appropriate reference standard (e.g., "gold standard")? N/A
4. Was method of handling withdrawals described? Yes
  4.1. Were follow-up methods described and the same for all groups? N/A
  4.2. Was the number, characteristics of withdrawals (i.e., dropouts, lost to follow up, attrition rate) and/or response rate (cross-sectional studies) described for each group? (Follow up goal for a strong study is 80%.) N/A
  4.3. Were all enrolled subjects/patients (in the original sample) accounted for? N/A
  4.4. Were reasons for withdrawals similar across groups? N/A
  4.5. If diagnostic test, was decision to perform reference test not dependent on results of test under study? N/A
5. Was blinding used to prevent introduction of bias? No
  5.1. In intervention study, were subjects, clinicians/practitioners, and investigators blinded to treatment group, as appropriate? N/A
  5.2. Were data collectors blinded for outcomes assessment? (If outcome is measured using an objective test, such as a lab value, this criterion is assumed to be met.) N/A
  5.3. In cohort study or cross-sectional study, were measurements of outcomes and risk factors blinded? N/A
  5.4. In case control study, was case definition explicit and case ascertainment not influenced by exposure status? N/A
  5.5. In diagnostic study, were test results blinded to patient history and other test results? N/A
6. Were intervention/therapeutic regimens/exposure factor or procedure and any comparison(s) described in detail? Were interveningfactors described? No
  6.1. In RCT or other intervention trial, were protocols described for all regimens studied? N/A
  6.2. In observational study, were interventions, study settings, and clinicians/provider described? N/A
  6.3. Was the intensity and duration of the intervention or exposure factor sufficient to produce a meaningful effect? N/A
  6.4. Was the amount of exposure and, if relevant, subject/patient compliance measured? N/A
  6.5. Were co-interventions (e.g., ancillary treatments, other therapies) described? N/A
  6.6. Were extra or unplanned treatments described? N/A
  6.7. Was the information for 6.4, 6.5, and 6.6 assessed the same way for all groups? N/A
  6.8. In diagnostic study, were details of test administration and replication sufficient? N/A
7. Were outcomes clearly defined and the measurements valid and reliable? Yes
  7.1. Were primary and secondary endpoints described and relevant to the question? Yes
  7.2. Were nutrition measures appropriate to question and outcomes of concern? Yes
  7.3. Was the period of follow-up long enough for important outcome(s) to occur? N/A
  7.4. Were the observations and measurements based on standard, valid, and reliable data collection instruments/tests/procedures? Yes
  7.5. Was the measurement of effect at an appropriate level of precision? Yes
  7.6. Were other factors accounted for (measured) that could affect outcomes? No
  7.7. Were the measurements conducted consistently across groups? Yes
8. Was the statistical analysis appropriate for the study design and type of outcome indicators? No
  8.1. Were statistical analyses adequately described and the results reported appropriately? Yes
  8.2. Were correct statistical tests used and assumptions of test not violated? Yes
  8.3. Were statistics reported with levels of significance and/or confidence intervals? Yes
  8.4. Was "intent to treat" analysis of outcomes done (and as appropriate, was there an analysis of outcomes for those maximally exposed or a dose-response analysis)? N/A
  8.5. Were adequate adjustments made for effects of confounding factors that might have affected the outcomes (e.g., multivariate analyses)? No
  8.6. Was clinical significance as well as statistical significance reported? Yes
  8.7. If negative findings, was a power calculation reported to address type 2 error? N/A
9. Are conclusions supported by results with biases and limitations taken into consideration? Yes
  9.1. Is there a discussion of findings? Yes
  9.2. Are biases and study limitations identified and discussed? Yes
10. Is bias due to study's funding or sponsorship unlikely? Yes
  10.1. Were sources of funding and investigators' affiliations described? Yes
  10.2. Was the study free from apparent conflict of interest? Yes