Background: Food insecurity has been associated with diverse health consequences for children in developed and developing countries, and the interest on food insecurity prevalence and consequences on children have been globally increased. Children academic performance is influenced by many factors, such as general health status, nutrient intake, cognitive development and psychosocial stimulation.
Aim: To estimate 1) the prevalence of food insecurity among Jordanian children from public schools in North of Jordan, 2) the impact of food insecurity on academic performance, 3) the prevalence of food insecurity among the participants according to their socio demographic characteristics.
Method: A random sample of 679 children (221 males and 458 females) aged 12 to 16 years completed the study. Data were collected using an interview-based questionnaire. The interview was conducted by a trained research assistant. Data about the students’ demographics were collected (age, gender, housing status and family income). Academic performance was measured by children’s school grades of the past year.
Result: The prevalence of mild and severe food insecurity was 15% and 7% respectively. Food insecurity was associated with student’s gender, housing status and family income. After adjusting for the covariates, children food insecurity significantly associated with their academic performance. Food insecurity is prevalent among children in Jordan and negatively influences school performance.