A Study of Hunger, BMI, and the Occurrence of Infectious Disease in Rural Western Kenya

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dc.contributor.advisor Baker, Dr. Lisa Hammond, Molly
dc.contributor.other Department of Biology en_US
dc.contributor.other Baylor University en_US
dc.contributor.other Dr. Troy Abell en_US 2012
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this study was to determine the state of food insecurity in a poverty-stricken community in western Kenya using a hunger scale questionnaire (HSQ) to investigate the three-fold relationship between food insecurity, body mass index (BMI), and infectious disease. This cross-sectional study analyzed data from a clinical sample of 480 patients of the Luo ethnicity who completed the HSQ in May 2011. The results showed that 94.37% of patients were designated as food-insecure, while merely 5.63% were food-secure. Out of the 187 cases of infectious disease, 180 cases were found in food-insecure patients (92.26%). Of the 6.88% of patients who had worms, none were food-secure. The most striking finding was the association between food insecurity, age, and BMI: 51.20% of food-insecure youths had BMIs within the severely thin range, compared to only 3.73% of food-insecure adults. The majority of adults, regardless of food insecurity, had BMIs concentrated in the normal range (p = <.0001). In addition to determining the severity of the hunger crisis in this community, these findings demonstrate the susceptibility of youth to food insecurity’s threatening consequences: low BMI. This study adds support for the use of the HSQ as an effective predictor for BMI and for continued research investigating the potential role of the HSQ as a determinant of the occurrence of infectious disease. en_US
dc.rights Baylor University projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. Contact for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.title A Study of Hunger, BMI, and the Occurrence of Infectious Disease in Rural Western Kenya en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.accessrights No access - Contact en_US
dc.contributor.department Biology en_US
dc.contributor.schools honors college en_US

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