Food insecurity and functional disability among older people in Ghana


Article co-authored by Pablo Villalobos, MICARE young researcher; with Kofi Awuviry-Newton, PhD; Dinah Amoah; Meredith Tavener, PhD; Adjeiwa Akosua Afram; Julie Byles, PhD and Paul Kowal, PhD.

Published in JAMDA (Journal of the American Medical Directors Association), the research examines possible relationships between food insecurity and functional disability in older adults in Ghana; and the roles of sex and physical activity in this association.

Using data from the Ghana Wave 2 study (national study), 4,446 older people (50 years or older) participated in a cross-sectional study. On the other hand, the functional disability of that sector in the country was evaluated using the Disability Assessment Program 2.0 of the World Health Organization. Food insecurity was assessed from the measurement of food sufficiency and experience of hunger in 12 months.

Main findings:

Older adults who reported consuming insufficient food and those who experienced hunger, were more likely to have functional disability than those who did not report these problems. Sex differences modified the association between hunger and functional disability. Physical activity served as a factor in the association, implying that older adults who were physically active were 40% less likely to experience food insecurity-induced functional disability.

Foto de comida saludable representativa de países como Ghana, en África.