Food security among young adults with disabilities in the United States: Findings from the National Health Interview Survey

Debra L. Brucker, M.P.A., Ph.D.
Disability and Health Journal, Vol. 9, Issue 2, p 298–305


Prior research has suggested that young adults with disabilities face economic, health and social disadvantage. Food security, an area of disadvantage that can influence overall health, has not been fully explored for this population.


To examine levels of food security between young adults with and without disabilities, controlling for individual characteristics.


Logistic regression analysis of a nationally representative sample of young adults (age 18–25) (n = 32,795) with and without disabilities, using pooled data form the 2011–2013 National Health Interview Survey.


Young adults with disabilities have significantly higher odds (OR: 2.58, p < 0.001) of living in a household that is food insecure than young adults without disabilities, even when controlling for individual characteristics. Odds of living in a household that is food insecure are particularly high (OR: 5.35, p < 0.001) among young adults with high levels of psychological distress, controlling for other factors.


Young adults with disabilities have increased odds of living in a household that is food insecure. This study has important policy and community program implications.