The Impact of a 24 Month Housing First Intervention on Participants’ Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference: Results from the At Home / Chez Soi Toronto Site Randomized Controlled Trial

Research suggests that individuals experiencing homelessness have high rates of overweight and obesity. Unhealthy weights and homelessness are both associated with increased risk of poor health and mortality. Using longitudinal data from 575 participants at the Toronto site of the At Home/Chez Soi randomized controlled trial, we investigate the impact of receiving a Housing First intervention on the Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference of participants with moderate and high needs for mental health support services. The ANCOVA results indicate that the intervention resulted in no significant change in BMI or waist circumference from baseline to 24 months. The findings suggest a need for a better understanding of factors contributing to overweight, obesity, and high waist circumference in populations who have histories of housing precarity and experience low-income in tandem with other concerns such as mental illness and addictions.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: