Box 2-2
Priority Research Agenda

Research Priorities: Measurement

  • Development and testing of individual (as opposed to household) scales for measurement of prevalence of food insecurity among adults and children;

  • Improvements in the measurement and understanding of the dynamics of food insecurity, such as frequency and duration of episodes;

  • Developing better questions and strategies for asking about nutritional quality (alternative to balanced meal questions);

  • Assessment of the effects of the questionnaire structure, item sequencing, and survey context on response patterns and measured food security levels; and

  • Determination of research situations appropriate for implementation of abbreviated household food security scales and/or scales with different time frames such as monthly versus annual.

Research Priorities: Applications and Policy

  • Focus on sampling and research on food insecurity and its consequences among high-risk groups with chronic health conditions, mental illness, and other biological vulnerability (especially among the homeless, elderly, and young children);

  • Development of a research basis for linking community food security and household food insecurity;

  • Better understanding of the context and determinants of food insecurity and hunger and their relationship to poverty, household resources, and time management; and

  • Applications that assess and investigate the linkages between food insecurity measures, welfare reform, and measures of program performance.

Source: Andrews and Prell (2001a)

  • The Division of Nutrition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NCHS, and USDA have worked together to develop subscales of the 18-item scale, such as a 6-item set, that could be used to measure food insecurity and hunger in state surveillance systems, such as the NCHS State and Local Area Integrated Telephone Survey and the CDC Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System.

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