Exploring the nutritional vulnerability of homeless men in a Canadian urban setting

Homelessness, Aboriginal ethnicity, and nutritional vulnerability are key determinants of health. Substance abuse further compounds health risk. This study explored the nutritional vulnerability of homeless men, some of who were solvent-users, to assess nutrition-related chronic disease risk factors. Anthropometric data were used to calculate disease risk using body mass index. Diet was assessed using a 24-hr food recall and data were compared to Canada’s Food Guide recommendations. A significant proportion of participants had low intakes of vegetables and fruit and milk and alternatives. More than half of the participants met the intake recommendations for grain servings and meat and alternatives. Solvent-using participants consumed significantly higher intakes of vegetables and fruit, grain products, and other foods and beverages, than non-solvent using men. More than half of the participants were classified as overweight or obese. Healthy food consumption was influenced by lack of stable housing, reliance on charitable food, and substance abuse.

Publication Date: 
In press
Journal Name: 
Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless