Theses and Dissertations



Mathews, Rahel

Committee Member

Komakech, Joel J.

Committee Member

Gardner, Antonio J.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Immediate Worldwide Access

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion (Nutrition)

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion


Food insecurity, poor diet quality, and periodontal disease are critical problems in the United States, yet limited studies examine how these three conditions are related. Men and the Hispanic population suffer a disproportionate burden of periodontal disease and are understudied groups. Using NHANES data from 2015 to 2018 and the HEI-2015, this study describes the prevalence of men’s periodontitis and its association with food insecurity and diet quality. The final sample was 4,582 men, aged 30 years or older, of whom 1,130 were Hispanic. Odds ratios were calculated via multivariable logistic regression models. Very low food security significantly increased the odds of perceived periodontitis in Hispanic men (AOR = 2.11, 95% CI (1.21-3.70), p = .01) and in all men (AOR = 1.69, 95% CI (1.15-2.48), p = .01). Diet quality had no association with perceived periodontitis in all Hispanic men or in all men. The effect of food insecurity on periodontitis was not mediated by diet quality. Culturally competent strategies addressing men’s health should target food insecurity and diet quality as individual influences on periodontal health.