Journal Articles

Publication Date



The Journal of Nutrition


BACKGROUND: Food insecurity and metabolic diseases both disproportionately affect Hispanic children. Cross-sectional studies have linked food insecurity with adverse cardiometabolic markers, including elevated plasma triglycerides and glucose concentrations. However, the association between changes in food insecurity and changes in cardiometabolic markers in children remains to be explored. Furthermore, few studies have assessed the impact of school-based nutrition interventions on household food insecurity.

OBJECTIVE: The objectives of this study are to assess the effect of the TX Sprouts intervention on household food insecurity and to examine the association between changes in household food insecurity and changes in cardiometabolic markers over 1 academic year.

METHODS: This secondary analysis used data from TX Sprouts, a cluster-randomized school-based gardening, cooking, and nutrition trial. The study enrolled 3rd-5th-grade students from 16 schools that served primarily (>50%) Hispanic families with low income in Austin, TX. Participants (n = 619) provided household food insecurity data and fasting lipid panels at both baseline and postintervention, ∼9 mo following.

RESULTS: There was no intervention effect on household food insecurity. Independent of the intervention, a 1-point increase in food insecurity, indicative of becoming more food insecure, was associated with a 2.61 mg/dL increase in triglycerides (P = 0.001; 95% CI: 1.04, 4.19) at follow-up. Children who were food insecure at baseline and became food secure at follow-up had a mean 5.05 mg/dL decrease in triglycerides compared with a 7.50 mg/dL increase in triglycerides in children who remained food insecure throughout (95% CI: -23.40, -1.71, P = 0.023). There were no other associations between changes in food insecurity and cardiometabolic markers.

CONCLUSION: Although the intervention did not improve food insecurity, reductions in food insecurity over 9 mo were associated with improved cardiometabolic markers in high-risk children, emphasizing the need for interventions targeting food insecurity. The study is registered at under NCT02668744 (https://classic.

CLINICALTRIALS: gov/ct2/show/NCT02668744).


Child, Humans, Cross-Sectional Studies, Food Supply, Food Insecurity, Hispanic or Latino, Cardiovascular Diseases



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