A Scoping Review of Household Factors Contributing to Dietary Quality and Food Security in Low-Income Households with School-Age Children in the United States


Eicher-Miller, H.A.; Graves, L.; McGowan, B.; Mayfield, B.J.; Connolly, B.A.; Stevens, W.; Abbott, A.


Low-income and food-insecure households are at risk of poor dietary quality and even more severe food insecurity. Especially in childhood, consuming a nutritionally adequate diet is an essential driver of health, growth, and development. Household-level factors can present challenges to support the nutritional needs of low-income and food-insecure household members. The aim of this scoping review is to identify the contributing household factors to dietary quality and food security in US households of school-aged children 5 to 19 years and synthesize the evidence around emergent themes for application to future interventions. The scoping review was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis Protocols Extension for Scoping Reviews using search terms addressing food insecurity, low income, and dietary behaviors in the database PubMed. Screening by 3 independent reviewers of the title, abstract, and full study phases identified 44 studies. The 5 themes around which the studies grouped were: parental behaviors, child/adolescent behaviors, food procurement behaviors, food preparation behaviors, and household environment factors. Most studies were cross-sectional (n = 41, 93%) and focused on parental behaviors (n = 31, 70%), followed by food preparation and procurement behaviors. The themes identified were interrelated and suggest that incorporating education on parent and child behaviors that influence food procurement and preparation, along with strengthening organization and planning in the household environment, may hold promise to improve dietary quality and food security among food-insecure and low-income households. The findings can be used to inform future nutrition education interventions aimed at improving dietary quality and food security in households with school-aged children. © 2023 The Author(s)


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