Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

Household food insecurity and children's physical activity and sedentary behaviour in the United States: the Healthy Communities Study.



To examine associations between household food insecurity and children's physical activity and sedentary behaviours.


Secondary analysis was conducted on the Healthy Communities Study, an observational study from 2013 to 2015. Household food insecurity was assessed by two items from the US Department of Agriculture's 18-item US Household Food Security Survey Module. Physical activity was measured using the 7-d Physical Activity Behaviour Recall instrument. Data were analysed using multilevel statistical modelling.


A total of 130 communities in the USA.


In sum, 5138 US children aged 4-15 years.


No associations were found for the relationship between household food insecurity and child physical activity. A significant interaction between household food insecurity and child sex for sedentary behaviours was observed (P = 0·03).


Additional research capturing a more detailed assessment of children's experiences of food insecurity in relation to physical activity is warranted. Future studies may consider adopting qualitative study designs or utilising food insecurity measures that specifically target child-level food insecurity. Subsequent research may also seek to further explore sub-group analyses by sex.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View