DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.12075 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 12075: Does Improvement in Food Insecurity Lead to Improvement in Weight and Waist Circumference?

Tiffany W Ardoin, Donald Mercante
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Purpose: The Food Insecurity and its Sequelae on Health (FISH) Research Study measures the impacts of the Geaux Get Healthy Clinical Program (GGH) on food insecurity and metabolic health. GGH is an 8-week program that provides community members with food insecurity nutrition/cooking education and access to resources. We have already shown that this program improves food security scores from enrollment to completion of the program with continued improvement at 6 months with USDA Adult Food Security Survey Module scores of 6.9 to 4 to 2.7 respectively 1 . We proposed that improvements in food insecurity with GGH would also translate into sustainable improvements in weight and waist circumference.

Methods: Eligible participants included patients who qualified for the GGH Program ages 18-65, were English-speaking and without audiovisual deficits. Upon enrollment, participants met with the Health Specialist, again at 8-12 weeks, and again at 6 months. At each visit, participants completed validated surveys which included food security scores and vital signs were obtained.

Results: At the time of this analysis, a total of 118 participants were enrolled. Participants’ mean BMI was 34.89 kg/m 2 ( SD =9.20). 66% of enrollees had diabetes (37%) or pre-diabetes (29%) and 56% of enrollees had hypertension. Of those who completed the study (n= 57), the mean weights were 92.2 kg at initial visit; 86.1 kg at 8 weeks; and 91.2 kg at 6 months. The mean waist circumferences were 42.26 in at initial visit; 40.2 in at 8 weeks; and 41.06 in at 6 months. The Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test was used to analyze change in response over 2 timepoints. Significant improvement in means of both weight ( p =0.011) and waist circumference ( p =0.008) occurred from enrollment to program completion at 8 weeks. However, neither of these improvements were sustained.

Conclusions: It appears that a program providing access to resources and education improves food security scores along with weight and waist circumference. Although food security score improvements persist, improvements in weight and waist circumference do not. This suggests that intense programs addressing food insecurity may not continue to improve metabolic health once the educational piece is over and only access to community resources remains.

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