Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Mental Health Research, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues, UCSF / 15.01.2021 Interview with: Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California What is the background for this study? Response: Food insecurity is the inability to afford or access nutritionally adequate and safe foods for an active, healthy lifestyle. Rates of food insecurity were projected to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, prior studies had not examined the association between food insufficiency, the most extreme form of food insecurity, and mental health. What are the main findings? Response: Using a large national sample of nearly 64,000 adults, we found that food insufficiency rose from 8.1% to 10.0% during the pandemic. People of color and younger adults had higher risk of food insufficiency. People living in poverty or experiencing recent job loss were at higher risk of food insufficiency. Food insufficiency was associated with symptoms of anxiety, worrying, and depression. Hunger, exhaustion, and worrying about not getting enough food to eat may worsen depression and anxiety symptoms. Receiving food assistance alleviated the relationship between food insufficiency and poor mental health.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Nutrition, Race/Ethnic Diversity / 04.06.2019 Interview with: Joe F. Bozeman III, MS, CEM, Ph.D. Candidate Chair, Gordon Research Seminar (Industrial Ecology) University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Institute for Environmental Science and Policy What is the background for this study?   Response: This study is actually a part of my dissertation which explores how climate change, human health, and other socioecological factors can be used to manage food-energy-water impacts. After establishing environmental impact and climate change adaptation implications of food consumption across major U.S. demographic groups in a previous study, my colleagues and I decided it would be interesting to investigate how food spending and household income correlate with food-consumption environmental impacts. Our efforts led to the development of a novel quantitative metric (i.e., food-consumption impact per dollar spent [FCI$]) which encompasses land, water, and greenhouse gas emission impacts of basic foods; the amount spent on food; and socioeconomic status. All major food groups are included in this study. (more…)