Factors related to household food insecurity in the Republic of Korea

Kirang Kim, Mi Kyung Kim, Young Jeon Shin, Sang Sun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective To examine the prevalence of food insecurity and to identify factors that contribute to it in the Republic of Korea.Design A cross-sectional study.Setting Data were selected from a secondary data set, the third Korean Welfare Panel Study. Household food insecurity was measured with a six-item Korean version of the US Household Food Security Survey Module. The differences in proportions or means of household characteristics, householder's characteristics, economic status and social benefits by food insecurity status were tested with the 2 or t test. The independent associations of food insecurity with each characteristic were assessed with multivariate logistic regression analysis.Subjects The sample size consisted of 6238 households.Results The prevalence of food insecurity was 53 % among all households and 257 % among low-income households. Risk factors that were associated with a higher risk of food insecurity included living alone, unemployment, no job, low household income and living in a leased or rented home. For low-income households, living in a leased or rented home increased the risk of food insecurity. Among food-insecure households, 261 % of the full sample of households and 343 % of low-income households were participating in food assistance programmes.Conclusions Food insecurity among the Korean population was related to household type, income, job status and housing. Food assistance programmes were not enough to completely alleviate food insecurity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1080-1087
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010 Jun


  • Food assistance programmes
  • Food insecurity
  • Low-income household


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