A customer shops at a meat counter in a grocery store in Montreal, on Thursday, April 30, 2020. A new report from Statistics Canada suggests Canadians who dealt with food insecurity at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to perceive their mental health as poor and report anxiety symptoms than those who did not. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

A customer shops at a meat counter in a grocery store in Montreal, on Thursday, April 30, 2020. A new report from Statistics Canada suggests Canadians who dealt with food insecurity at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to perceive their mental health as poor and report anxiety symptoms than those who did not. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Food insecurity during COVID-19 pandemic linked to poor mental health: StatCan

OTTAWA — A new report from Statistics Canada suggests Canadians who dealt with food insecurity during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring were more likely to perceive their mental health as poor and report anxiety symptoms than those who did not.

The agency says 14.6 per cent of respondents to a survey conducted in May reported experiencing food insecurity within the previous 30 days.

One in five Canadians who took part in the survey also perceived their mental health as fair or poor, or reported moderate or severe anxiety symptoms.

The agency found that the prevalence of fair or poor self-perceived levels of mental health and moderate or severe symptoms of anxiety was much higher for those dealing with inadequate access to food in their households.

It says those experiencing some level of food insecurity were more likely to be male, younger and single, or more likely to live in a larger household or a home with children, and to be unemployed or to have experienced a financial impact from COVID-19.

Statistics Canada says this study is the first to examine the association between household food insecurity and self-perceived mental health and anxiety symptoms among Canadians during COVID-19 pandemic.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eighteen inmates and four staff at Red Deer Remand Centre have tested positive for COVID-19. Advocate file photo
Red Deer Remand Centre up to 22 COVID cases

Eighteen inmates and four remand centre staff areactive COVID cases

Christine Cornelius, department manager at Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre, prepares seed racks at the Red Deer County shop. (By SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Central Alberta gardeners already buying seeds to prepare for spring

Potatoes and carrots popular choices for backyard gardens

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw announced 16 additional deaths Thursday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
No easing of Alberta’s COVID-19 measures Thursday, 678 new COVID-19 cases

The province also hit 1,500 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic

Red Deer’s newest Waskasoo Park trail offers some bird’s-eye views of the city. It runs along the Highland Green escarpment, between Howarth Street Close and 60th Street. More information is available on reddeer.ca. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
PHOTO: New Red Deer trail offers hikers a bird’s-eye view

It links Howarth Street Close with 60th Street

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette delivers the throne speech in the Senate chamber in Ottawa on Sept. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns

OTTAWA — Gov. Gen. Julie Payette is resigning. The news comes as… Continue reading

Former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley shakes hands with Joel Ward, former Red Deer College President and CEO, as Notley announces that the college is on the path to grant degrees. Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan says university status is not a necessary condition for offering degrees. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Future of Red Deer University increasingly uncertain

MLA’s college update says RDC more like SAIT and NAIT than a university

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a press briefing in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Fauci unleashed: Doc takes ‘liberating’ turn at centre stage

Fauci unleashed: Doc takes ‘liberating’ turn at centre stage

A man wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver Wednesday, November 18, 2020.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Manitoba eases measures as COVID cases decline, but feds warn of severe illness rise

Manitoba eases measures as COVID cases decline, but feds warn of severe illness rise

A Government of Canada sign sits in front of a Library and Archives Canada building next to Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday Nov. 25, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal review of Access to Information law to take another year amid impatience

Federal review of Access to Information law to take another year amid impatience

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin responds to a question on COVID vaccines during a news conference, Thursday, January 14, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Delays to Canada’s deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses keep getting worse

Delays to Canada’s deliveries of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses keep getting worse

A man works in the broadcast centre at the TMX Group Ltd. in Toronto, on May 9, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese
S&P/TSX composite down on broad-based decline led by energy; loonie rises again

S&P/TSX composite down on broad-based decline led by energy; loonie rises again

A conveyor belt transports coal at the Westmoreland Coal Co.'s Sheerness mine near Hanna, Alta., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Coal mining impacts are already occurring in Alberta's Rocky Mountains even as debate intensifies over the industry's presence in one of the province's most beloved landscapes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

As Alberta debates coal mining, industry already affecting once-protected Rockies

Children walk back to their classroom while physical distancing at St. Barnabas Catholic School during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Tuesday, October 27, 2020. Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids safely return to the classroom as soon as possible. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Medical experts urge more masking, distancing for schools planning to reopen

Medical experts urge more masking, distancing for schools planning to reopen

Rode
University of Saskatchewan Huskies recognize DeMale’s talent

Joel DeMale has the resume to be one of the top linebackers… Continue reading

Most Read