Food insecurity and sleep quality among older adults: Findings from a population-based study in Ghana

Razak M. GYASI, Edward ASAMOAH, Nelson GYASY-BOADU, Ophelia ZORNU, Gershim ASIKI, David R. PHILLIPS

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Sleep architecture in older age is an important public health concern. However, little is known about the effect of food insecurity on sleep quality among older people. We provide the first representative study of the association between food insecurity and poor sleep quality (PSQ) in older adults in the sub-Saharan African context.

Methods: Data were drawn from the 2016–2017 AgeHeaPsyWel-HeaSeeB Study in Ghana. Past 30-day food insecurity was assessed with two items on the frequency of hunger and breakfast-skipping due to lack of food and resources. Participants reported night- and day-time sleep problems and sleep duration. Multiple OLS regressions were used to evaluate the hypothesized associations.

Results: Data on 1201 adults aged ≥ 50 years (mean = 63 [SD = 12]; women = 63%) were analyzed. In the full OLS adjusted model, moderate (β = .144; p < .001) and severe (β = .184; p < .001) levels of food insecurity were positively and significantly associated with PSQ. Also, older adults reporting moderate (β = -.153; p < .001) and severe (β = -.128; p < .001) food insecurity had fewer sleep hours than those who were food-secure. Women and those aged ≥ 65 were at higher risks of PSQ in the context food insecurity.

Conclusions: Addressing food insecurity may be an effective policy and public health intervention for improving sleep quality and overall well-being in older age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
Early online date29 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Lingnan University, Hong Kong [Grant No. RPG1129310]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Breakfast
  • Food security
  • Hunger
  • Older people
  • Public Health
  • Sleep
  • well-being
  • Well-being
  • Public health


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