FOOD INSECURITY AND POOR DIET QUALITY IN HIV+ OLDER ADULTS

A study of 60 persons with HIV on average 56 years of age, 80% African-American and 32% women was done. It investigated whether problems with having enough money to get sufficient and healthy food could affect overall nutrition.  During a period of the past 12 months 55% reported food insecurity, and 77% made less than $20,000 during the year. Also, information on education and psychosocial factors was collected.

The participants kept track of how much and the type of foods eaten over 3 days. From this information it was possible to develop a “healthy eating index” as well as estimates of the intake of specific nutrients, such as fiber and vitamins.  Using this information food insecurity was found to be associated with poor diet quality among this group of older adults with HIV.  There were no significant relationships between psychosocial measures and diet quality.

Perhaps not surprisingly, those with low socioeconomic status were particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of food insecurity. Attempts to identify this subgroup and improve their food access are clearly needed.

Muhammad, J.N.et al. (2019)  Associations of food insecurity and psychosocial measures with diet quality in adults aging with HIV. AIDS Care 31 (5): 554-562