Master of Science (MS)


Human Ecology

Document Type



The objectives of this study were to explore the relationships among depression and food security status, dietary nutrient intakes, sociodemographic characteristics, body mass index (BMI), and the presence of chronic diseases in a female food stamp recipient population (n = 66) in Southeast Louisiana. Women were dichotomized by stated depression and descriptive statistics on socioeconomic characteristics and mean nutrient intakes were presented for each group. Logistic regression models were used to determine the relationship of stated depression with food security status, selected sociodemographic characteristics, nutrient intakes, body mass index, and the number of chronic diseases reported. The percentage of women with reported depression was 31.8%. A strong relationship was observed between depression and the number of chronic diseases reported (p = 0.005). Women with stated depression had more physical chronic diseases reported than those without stated depression. The majority of study participants were unemployed (68.18%), and the odds of stated depression for unemployed women was four times higher than employed women (p = 0.05). Food security status was classified into three categories, that is, food secure, food insecure, and food insecure with hunger. For the depressed women, 52.4% were food secure; 38.1% were food insecure; 9.5% were food insecure with hunger. No relationship was found between depression and food security status. Low intake of folate and iron was common in both depressed and non-depressed women. No relationship was found between depression and nutrient intake (e.g., energy, protein, carbohydrate, fat, folate, vitamin B12, or iron). The mean BMI of both depressed and non-depressed groups fell within the obese range. No relationship was found between depression and BMI. We also failed to find relationships between depression and marital status or medical insurance.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Carol E. O'Neil



Included in

Human Ecology Commons