Food Insecurity With Hunger and Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents From 53 Countries

Lee Smith, Philip B. Ward, Davy Vancampfort, Guillermo Felipe López-Sánchez, Lin Yang, Igor Grabovac, Louis Jacob, Damiano Pizzol, Nicola Veronese, Jae Il Shin, Jinhee Lee, Daragh T. McDermott, Ai Koyanagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To examine the relationship of food insecurity with sexual intercourse, multiple sexual partners and non-condom use. Methods: Data on food insecurity (hunger) and sexual behaviors from 205,296 adolescents from 53 countries. Associations were analyzed using meta-analysis. Results: Overall, 16.0% of the adolescents ever had sexual intercourse and the prevalence of moderate and severe food insecurity was 44.9% and 6.2%, respectively. Moderate and severe food insecurity was associated with higher odds for sexual intercourse. Any food insecurity was significantly associated with condom nonuse at last sex. Conclusions: Food insecurity was associated with higher odds of ever having sexual intercourse dose-dependently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-98
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Sexual Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper uses data from the Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS). GSHS is supported by the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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