Date of Conferral





Public Health


Fraizer B. Beatty


The incidence of food insecurity coupled with poor management of illnesses poses a

public health challenge. Poor adherence to medication regimens is a contributor to poor

health outcomes, especially among the socioeconomically disadvantaged. Food insecurity

is a global health and nutrition problem that affects approximately 50 million people in

the United States. The number of food-insecure households in the United States has

increased by 12% since 1995, and so has the burden of management of illnesses. The cost

of healthcare has risen from 5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1960 to 20% of

the GDP currently. This quantitative study used responses from questionnaires from a

sample size of 130 to assess the impact that food insecurity has on the management of

illnesses in families in Wayne County, Ohio. The social-ecological model was used as a

theoretical framework to understand the various levels of influence of food insecurity on

the management of illnesses. Results showed that people who were food insecure were 4

times more likely to skip medication (OR = 4.174; p = 0.0096), and people who used

food assistance programs were more likely to skip medication (OR = 4.305; p = .0088;

OR = .351; p = .0288). These results suggest that food insecurity is associated with the

management of illness. To promote social change, solutions at the individual, healthcare,

community, and policy levels are necessary to improve management of illness and

prevent health complications. Providing communities with sustainable methods to

empower them to supplement food and support consumption of balanced meals.