Canadian households that rely on publicly funded income supports are much more likely to face food insecurity than those reliant on employment income, according to new research from the University of Toronto.

The study is one of the most comprehensive to elucidate the socio-demographics of food insecurity in Canada, and it shows wide disparities in risk by province and territory, age and Indigeneity, among other factors.

Food insecurity is the inadequate or uncertain access to food due to financial constraint, and a growing body of evidence shows it has major effects on physical and mental health, and health-care costs.