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Title: Financial Wellbeing and Quality of Life Among a Sample of the Lebanese Population: The Mediating Effect of Food Insecurity
Authors: Karam, Joanne 
Haddad, Chadia
Sacre, Hala
Serhan, Mireille 
Salameh, Pascal
Jomaa, Lamis
Affiliations: Faculty of Health Sciences 
Faculty of Health Sciences 
Keywords: Food insecurity
Quality of life
Financial wellbeing
Physical health
Mental health
Issue Date: 2022-07-26
Part of: Frontiers in Nutrition
Start page: 1
End page: 13
Background: Lebanon is undergoing multiple overlapping crises, affecting the food security, financial well-being, and quality of life (QOL) of its residents.

Objective: The primary objective was to assess the food insecurity (FI) status of a sample of the Lebanese population. The second objective was to explore factors related to QOL parameters and evaluate the mediating effect of food security between financial well-being and QOL.

Methods: The study was cross-sectional and enrolled 412 participants recruited online using the snowball sampling technique. The survey included questions related to sociodemographic and economic characteristics of Lebanese households and validated scales to assess FI, QOL measures, financial well-being, and fear of COVID-19.

Results: Almost 43% of the study participants reported being food insecure, with 31% experiencing mild FI, 10% moderate FI, and 1.5% severe FI. Compared to food-insecure participants, food secure participants had a significantly higher income (58.5% vs. 39.2%, p < 0.001), a university education level (96.6% vs. 88.1%, p = 0.002), an average perceived financial status (83.9% vs. 65.9%), higher financial well-being scores (5.14 vs. 3.19, p < 0.001), and lower crowding index (0.94 ± 0.4 vs. 1.09, p = 0.002). Multivariate analysis showed that FI was not associated with physical (Beta = −1.48, 95% CI: −3.10; 0.13) and mental (Beta = −1.46, 95% CI −3.68; 0.75) QOL, after adjusting for other demographic and socioeconomic correlates. This association remained non-significant when introducing the financial well-being variable to the model. Mediation analyses showed that the FI variable mediated the association between financial well-being and physical QOL (Beta = 0.19, 95% CI: 0.02; 0.36), but not the mental QOL (Beta = −0.02, 95% CI: −0.20; 0.14).

Conclusion: Food insecurity was prevalent in our study sample, and it mediated the association between financial well-being and physical, but not mental, QOL parameters. These findings call for evidence-based policies and programs to help improve the food security and well-being of Lebanese households amidst these unprecedented circumstances.
DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2022.906646
Open URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Nutritional Sciences

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