Food security: Is New Zealand a land of plenty?

Winsome R. Parnell, Jenny Reid, Noela C. Wilson, Joanne McKenzie, David G. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Aim. To explore the concept at food security (when there is enough, appropriate and acceptable food available) in the adult New Zealand population using the National Nutrition Survey (NNS97). Methods. The stepwise development of indicators of food security included a literature search and focus groups with low income women and men. Key issues surrounding the procurement and provision of food were determined and eight indicator statements prepared for inclusion in NNS97, to be addressed by each participant on behalf of their household. Results. Prevalence was significantly higher (p<0,05) for females compared to males for the majority of indicator statements among New Zealand European & Others and Maori. New Zealand European & Others reported the most food security; Pacific people reported the least and Maori fell between the two. There was a significant increasing linear trend of food security with age (p<0.001), after adjusting for gender. "Food runs out in my/our household due to lack of money" was cited more often by female compared to male New Zealand European & Others in NZDep96 quartiles III and IV. Conclusion. The issue of 'not having enough food' may be more prevalent in New Zealand than US or Australia. Among New Zealand European & Others the higher prevalence of insufficient food due to lack of money among females from NZDep96 quartiles III and IV suggests that males may be protected from this by their female partners. Food security needs to be improved among young adults, women, Maori and Pacific people in order to prevent longer term nutritional health consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalNew Zealand Medical Journal
Issue number1128
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2001
Externally publishedYes

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