7.3.2 Percentage of Indigenous households with youth aged 15 to 24 years reporting low or very low food security, by Indigenous identity, Canada, 2012

First Nations Métis Inuit Total Indigenous
Indigenous Identity 19 13.3 40.7 17.9

Food security is based on answers to a set of six questions and indicates whether food security is high or marginal, low, or very low (note: the answers to these questions may have been provided directly by the respondent, or by another member of the respondent’s household). Respondents were asked to indicate whether each of the following six statements were often true, sometimes true, or never true in the past 12 months: (1) The food that (you/you and other household members) bought just didn’t last, and there wasn’t any money to get more. (2) (You/You and other household members) couldn’t afford to eat balanced meals. (3) In the past 12 months, since last [CurrentMonth], did (you/you and other household members) ever cut the size of your meals or skip meals because there wasn’t enough money for food? (4) How often did this happen – almost every month, some months but not every month, or in only 1 or 2 months? (5) In the past 12 months, did you (personally) ever eat less than you felt you should because there wasn’t enough money to buy food? (6) In the past 12 months, were you (personally) ever hungry but didn’t eat because you couldn’t afford enough food? Within the set of six questions, responses of “Often true” or “Sometimes true” in questions 1 and 2 and responses of “Yes” in questions 3, 5 and 6 are coded as affirmative (Yes). Responses of “Almost every month” and “Some months but not every month” in question 4 are coded as affirmative (Yes). The sum of affirmative responses to the six questions in the module determines the score on the scale for each respondent.

Aboriginal identity includes persons living off reserve who reported being an Aboriginal person, that is, First Nations (North American Indian), Métis or Inuk (Inuit) and/or those who reported Registered or Treaty Indian status, that is registered under the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported membership in a First Nation or Indian band. The sum of the categories included in this variable is greater than the total population estimate for Aboriginal identity because a person may have reported more than one Aboriginal identity: for example, a person could self-identify as both First Nations and Métis.

Source: CICH graphic created using data adapted from Statistics Canada – 2016 Census. Catalogue Number 98-400-X2016166.

In 2012, 18% of Indigenous households with youth aged 15 to 24 years reported low or very low food security.

This compares to 41% for Inuit, 19% of First Nations, and 13% of Métis households.

Indigenous households (excluding those on reserve) have a higher prevalence of socio-demographic risk factors for household food insecurity such as poverty, lower educational attainment, and lower rates of employment. Household food insecurity is associated with poorer health outcomes for parents, including, high stress, anxiety and cigarette smoking, which can have impacts on children’s health and well-being. It is also associated with poorer outcomes for children – for example obesity and diabetes.1

1Willows, N., Veugelers, P., Raine, K., & Kuhle, S. (2011). Associations between household food insecurity ad health outcomes in the Aboriginal population (excluding reserves). Health Reports, 22(2), 15-20.

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