Epidoc Unit team, led by Helena Canhão, was recently awarded with a fellowship from NOVA Health.
This fellowship will support a project entitled "Food insecurity in Portugal – costs, burden, challenges and implications".
"Food insecurity is defined by a household economic, social and individual condition of limited or uncertain access to nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life . Food insecurity has received much attention in recent years, even in high-income countries due to the increasing trend of poverty and social inequalities indicators, because of the global financial crisis. In fact, nutritional status is a key indicator of poverty and hunger, poor health, and inadequate education and social conditions.
EpiDoC cohort have showed that estimated proportion of food insecurity in Portuguese households was of 19.3%.
Regarding food behaviours, food insecurity households have low adherence to Mediterranean diet . Considering chronic diseases, Diabetes, rheumatic disease and depression symptoms are independently associated with food insecurity. Moreover, food insecure households had on average a lower quality of life EQ5D score and a higher physical disability HAQ score. Food insecurity was also associated to low adherence to Mediterranean food, obesity and lower levels of physical activity.
We will first assess access to health care, the use of health care, and the productivity losses associated with food insecurity. In this way, it will be evaluated how food insecurity may represent a burden for the National Health Service and, more generally, for society.
The strategy of measuring the use of care, access and productivity losses can be summarized in a simple way. We will measure the association between these parameters and food insecurity, adjusting for the other potential determinants, namely age, sex, health condition and socioeconomic status. In other words, we will try to distinguish, for each of the dimensions, what is the specific, independent effect of food insecurity."
Congratulations to the team!