Canada’s Aboriginal population is vulnerable to food insecurity and increasingly lives off-reserve. The Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2 Nutrition, was used to compare the prevalence and sociodemographic correlates of food insecurity between non-Aboriginal and off-reserve Aboriginal households.
Food insecurity status was based on Health Canada’s revised interpretation of responses to the US Household Food Security Survey Module. Logistic regression was used to assess if Aboriginal households were at higher risk for food insecurity than non-Aboriginal households, adjusting for household sociodemographic factors.
Households (n 35,107), 1528 Aboriginal and 33 579 non-Aboriginal.
Thirty-three per cent of Aboriginal households were food insecure as compared with 9 % of non-Aboriginal households (univariate OR 5·2, 95 % CI 4·2, 6·3). Whereas 14 % of Aboriginal households had severe food insecurity, 3 % of non-Aboriginal households did. The prevalence of sociodemographic risk factors for household food insecurity was higher for Aboriginal households. Aboriginal households were more likely to have three or more children (14 % v. 5 %), be lone-parent households (2 1 % v. 5 %), not have home ownership (52 % v. 31 %), have educational attainment of secondary school or less (43 % v. 26 %), have income from sources other than wages or salaries (38 % v. 29 %), and be in the lowest income adequacy category (33 % v. 12 %). Adjusted for these sociodemographic factors, Aboriginal households retained a higher risk for food insecurity than non-Aboriginal households (OR 2·6, 95 % CI 2·1, 3·2).
Off-reserve Aboriginal households in Canada merit special attention for income security and poverty alleviation initiatives.