P13 Evidence and Influences Regarding Food Insecurity Among Refugee in the USA: A Systematic Review


      As refugees resettle in the USA, they face many challenges related to obtaining and preparing appropriate food. These challenges include having low incomes, lack of transportation, limited access to food assistance programs, and unfamiliar food environments, all of which increase the risk of food insecurity.


      The objective of this review was to gain an understanding of the prevalence and impact of food insecurity among refugees in the USA.

      Study Design, Settings, Participants

      A systematic review of the literature was conducted in 10 electronic databases, including articles from 1980-2020. The following search terms were used: (food insecurity and refugee in the USA) or (food security and refugee in the USA). The quality of the selected articles was scored using the Hawker method (range: 9 – 36).

      Measurable Outcomes/Analysis

      The search identified a total of 550 articles, 22 of which met the inclusion criteria. Studies dealing with food security among refugees in the USA were included in this review. The mean quality score was 31.9 (SD = 2.5).


      Food insecurity among refugees ranged from 4% to 85% (median: 61%). Common challenges included sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors (such as low income, low education, and language barriers), lack of resources (such as transportation and access to SNAP, WIC, and health care services), lack of community support, lack of nutrition education, lack of familiarity with the food environment, and depression. Food insecurity was associated with increased consumption of meat and eggs, decreased consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks, and increased prevalence of chronic diseases and overweight/obesity.


      The rate of food insecurity is high among refugees in the USA. In addition to meeting food and nutrition needs among refugees, there is the need for social support and equitable access to health care to address chronic diseases and depression.
      Funding None.

      Appendix. Supplementary data