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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report MEASURING FOOD INSECURITY AND HUNGER PHASE 1 REPORT Panel to Review U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Measurement of Food Insecurity and Hunger Committee on National Statistics Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract/Grant No. 43-3AEM-3-80125 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Support of the work of the Committee on National Statistics is provided by a consortium of federal agencies through a grant from the National Science Foundation (Number SBR-0112521). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number 0-309-09596-4 (Book) International Standard Book Number 0-309-54886-1 (PDF) Additional copies of this report are available from National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu Printed in the United States of America Copyright 2005 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2005). Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report. Panel to Review U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Measurement of Food Insecurity and Hunger. Committee on National Statistics, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report PANEL TO REVIEW U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S MEASUREMENT OF FOOD INSECURITY AND HUNGER JANET L. NORWOOD (Chair), Independent Consultant, Chevy Chase, MD ERIC T. BRADLOW, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania J. MICHAEL BRICK, Westat, Rockville, MD EDWARD A. FRONGILLO, JR., Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University PAUL W. HOLLAND, Research and Development Division, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ MICHAEL D. HURD, Center for the Study of Aging, RAND, Santa Monica, CA HELEN H. JENSEN, Department of Economics, Iowa State University NANCY MATHIOWETZ, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee SUSAN E. MAYER, Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago DONALD (DIEGO) ROSE, Department of Community Health Sciences, Tulane University GOOLOO S. WUNDERLICH, Study Director MICHELE VER PLOEG, Study Director (until October 2004) JAMIE CASEY, Research Associate CHRISTINE COVINGTON CHEN, Senior Program Assistant MICHAEL SIRI, Senior Program Assistant (until November 2004)
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL STATISTICS 2004–2005 WILLIAM F. EDDY (Chair), Department of Statistics, Carnegie Mellon University KATHARINE G. ABRAHAM, Joint Program in Survey Methodology, University of Maryland ROBERT BELL, AT&T Research Laboratories, Florham Park, NJ LAWRENCE D. BROWN, Department of Statistics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania ROBERT M. GROVES, Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, and Joint Program in Survey Methodology, Ann Arbor JOHN HALTIWANGER, Department of Economics, University of Maryland PAUL HOLLAND, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ JOEL L. HOROWITZ, Department of Economics, Northwestern University DOUGLAS S. MASSEY, Department of Sociology and Public Policy, Princeton University VIJAYAN NAIR, Department of Statistics and Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor DARYL PREGIBON, Google Incorporated, New York KENNETH PREWITT, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University LOUISE M. RYAN, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health NORA CATE SCHAEFFER, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison CONSTANCE F. CITRO, Director
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report Acknowledgments The Panel to Review the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Measurement of Food Insecurity and Hunger acknowledges with appreciation the contributions of the many persons who gave generously of their time and knowledge to this study. Support for the study was provided by the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). We particularly wish to thank Mark Prell, Chief, Food Assistance Branch, who served as project officer of the study. He and his colleagues, particularly Mark Nord and Margaret Andrews, were helpful in providing information about the research undertaken in the development and implementation of the measures of food insecurity and hunger and answering the many questions from the panel and staff. We acknowledge Susan Offutt, Administrator, and Phil Fulton, Associate Administrator, of ERS; Steven Carlson, Food and Nutrition Service; Betsey Kuhn, Director of the Food and Rural Economics Division (FRED); and David Smallwood, Deputy Director for Food Assistance Research, FRED, for recognizing the need and initiating and supporting this important study. In addition we acknowledge the many federal and nonfederal government officials and those from the research and academic community who gave expert presentations to the panel at its initial meeting and participated in the workshop on the measurement of food insecu-
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report rity and hunger. We are grateful to the authors of the papers prepared for the workshop. Their names and the subjects of their papers are listed in Chapter 1. The papers were used by the panel and staff to guide them in drafting this report. A number of people within the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) and the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) provided support and assistance to the study panel. We acknowledge with gratitude the contributions of the staff. The panel wishes to thank Michele Ver Ploeg, who as study director until October 1, 2004, organized the work of the panel. She was chiefly responsible for developing and organizing the workshop during the first phase of the study. Gooloo Wunderlich was responsible for preparing the drafts of the Phase 1 report and responding to the many comments from the reviewers on behalf of the panel. Michael Siri and Christine Covington Chen handled administrative matters, and Jamie Casey provided research support. We are also grateful to Jerusha Nelson Peterman, who interned with CNSTAT in the summer of 2004, for her research assistance. Jerusha researched the reporting of food security estimates by the U.S. media, as well as uses of the food security supplement in other national, state, and local surveys. Christine McShane, senior editor of the DBASSE Reports office, provided professional editing advice, and Kirsten Sampson-Snyder shepherded the report through the report review and production process. Finally, we would like to thank the members of the panel for their generous contributions of time and expert knowledge to the deliberations and preparation of this report. This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Alicia L.
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report Carriquiry, Department of Statistics, Iowa State University; Robert S. Chen, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), The Earth Institute, Columbia University; John T. Cook, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center; Barbara Devaney, Nutrition Section, Mathematica Policy Research, Princeton, NJ; Johanna Dwyer, Medicine and Community Health, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston and Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD; Peter Eisinger, Department of Urban Politics and Economic Development Policy, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI; Allan L. McCutcheon, Gallup Research Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and Nora Cate Schaeffer, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by David M. Betson, Department of Economics and Policy Studies, Notre Dame University and John C. Bailar, III, Department of Health Studies (emeritus), University of Chicago. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. Janet L. Norwood, Chair Panel to Review USDA’s Measurement of Food Insecurity and Hunger
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 10 Panel Charge, 13 Study Approach. 16 Organization of the Report, 17 2 THE FOOD SECURITY MEASURE 18 Background, 18 Concepts and Definitions, 22 Food Security Measurement, 23 3 PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT 30 Concepts, Definitions, and Their Measurement, 30 Item-Response-Theory Models as a Statistical Basis for Measurement of Food Insecurity, 35 Appropriateness of a Household Interview Survey to Estimate the Prevalence of Food Insecurity, 40 Applicability of the Food Security Measure for Assessing the Effectiveness of Food Assistance Programs, 43 Survey Options for Measuring Food Insecurity, 45 Concluding Remarks, 48
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Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report REFERENCES 49 APPENDIXES 53 A Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement Questionnaire, December 2003 53 B Workshop Agenda 60 C Biographical Sketches of Panel Members 63