Projects per year
People with severe mental illness (SMI), such as major depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, experience numerous risk factors that may predispose them to food insecurity; however, the prevalence of food insecurity and its effects on health are under-researched in this population group. This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to describe the prevalence and correlates of food insecurity in people with SMI. A comprehensive electronic search was conducted up to March 2021. Random effects meta-analysis was employed to determine the prevalence of food insecurity in SMI, and odds ratio (OR) of food insecurity in people with SMI compared to non-psychiatric controls/general population. Twenty-nine unique datasets (31 publications) were included. Prevalence estimate of food insecurity in people with SMI was 40% (95% CI 29–52%, I 2 = 99.7%, N = 27). People with SMI were 2.71 (95% CI 1.72–3.25) times more likely to report food insecurity than the comparator group (Z = 11.09, p < 0.001, I 2 = 95%, N = 23). The odds of food insecurity in SMI were higher in high/high-middle income countries compared to low/low-middle income countries, likely due to the high food insecurity rates in the general population of lower income countries. There was no difference in food insecurity rates by diagnosis. Food insecurity should be a consideration for health professionals working with community-dwelling people with SMI.