Household crowding and food insecurity among inuit families with school-aged children in the canadian arctic

Maria Ruiz-Castell*, Gina Muckle, Éirc Dewailly, Joseph L. Jacobson, Sandra W. Jacobson, Pierre Ayotte, Mylène Riva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives. We examined the relation of household crowding to food insecurity among Inuit families with school-aged children in Arctic Quebec.

Methods. We analyzed data collected between October 2005 and February 2010 from 292 primary caregiver-child dyads from 14 Inuit communities. We collected information about household conditions, food security, and family socioeconomic characteristics by interviews. We used logistic regression models to examine the association between household crowding and food insecurity.

Results. Nearly 62% of Inuit families in the Canadian Arctic resided in more crowded households, placing them at risk for food insecurity. About 27% of the families reported reducing the size of their children's meals because of lack of money. The likelihood of reducing the size of children's meals was greater in crowded households (odds ratio = 3.73; 95% confidence interval = 1.96, 7.12). After we adjusted for different socioeconomic characteristics, results remained statistically significant.

Conclusions. Interventions operating across different levels (community, regional, national) are needed to ensure food security in the region. Targeting families living in crowded conditions as part of social and public health policies aiming to reduce food insecurity in the Arctic could be beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e122-e132
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


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