Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Nutrição, Departamento de Nutrição, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal da Paraíba. Campus Universitário s/n, Castelo Branco III. 58059-900 João Pessoa PB Brasil. [Email]
Household food insecurity (HFI) is related to health and nutritional problems, however there are few extant studies that relate it to mental health. The scope of this article is to associate HFI with the risk of minor mental disorders (MMD) in mothers with one-year-old children. A prospective cohort was conducted with 194 mothers and their babies from birth onwards. HFI was measured fourth months after birth using the Brazilian Household Food Insecurity scale and MMD risk amongst mothers was measured by the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) when their baby was one year old. Socio-economic and health status were used for control. HFI was present in 59.3% of the families. The MMD risk ratio was 1.59 (CI 95%: 1.10 - 2.31) in HFI families compared with secure families. This relationship remains significant in the multiple logistic model, OR= 2.20 (CI 95%: 1.16 - 4.20), after controlling by socio-economic and health variables. HFI is an independent risk factor to maternal risk of MMD. It should be important to include strategies to reduce HFI by promoting maternal mental health and improving child-mother quality of life.