Social support and food insecurity among older Brazilians in São Paulo


  • Carolina Neves Freiria Department of  Gerontology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Graziele Maria da Silva School of Applied Sciences, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Larissa Miho Hara School of Applied Sciences, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Flávia Silva Arbex Borim Department of  Gerontology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Tábatta Renata Pereira de Brito School of Nutrition, Federal University of Alfenas, Minas Gerais, Brazil
  • Ligiana Pires Corona School of Applied Sciences, University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil


Older adults, Social determinants of health, Nutrition, Food insecurity, Social support, Brazil


Food insecurity is a growing problem in Brazil, especially among older adults; however, the related sociodemographic factors remain unclear. This study aimed to analyze the relationship between social support dimensions and food insecurity among community-dwelling older adult Brazilians in São Paulo. This cross-sectional study was conducted in three cities in Sao Paulo state, Brazil. The analysis included 598 community-dwelling individuals aged ≥60-years-old, and multiple logistic regression models were used to estimate the associations between the dimensions of social support and food insecurity after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. We found that 42.3% of participants were food insecure. In the bivariate analysis, the higher scores in the affective, material, positive social interaction, and informational social support dimensions were statistically associated with the lower odds of food insecurity. In the multiple regression analysis, older adults who had a higher score of positive social interaction were less likely to have food insecurity, whereas the African American ethnicity and those older adults with a total family income ≤2 times of the minimum wage were more likely to have food insecurity. The results indicate that the positive social interaction emerges as an important factor associated with food insecurity among older adults, beyond that of other well-known social factors associated with food insecurity, highlighting the importance of screening for food insecurity and social support in primary care to avoid potential adverse health outcomes among older adults.


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