This study was undertaken to understand food insecurity from the perspective of households who experienced it. The results of group interviews and personal interviews with 98 low-income households from urban and rural areas in and around Québec City, Canada, elicited the meaning of "enough food" for the households and the range of manifestations of food insecurity. Two classes of manifestations characterized the experience of food insecurity: (1) its core characteristics: a lack of food encompassing the shortage of food, the unsuitability of both food and diet and a preoccupation with continuity in access to enough food; and a lack of control of households over their food situation; and (2) a related set of potential reactions: socio-familial perturbations, hunger and physical impairment, and psychological suffering. The results substantiate the existence of food insecurity among Québecers and confirm that the nature of this experience is consistent with many of the core components identified in upstate New York. This study underlines the monotony of the diet, describes the feeling of alienation, differentiates between a lack of food and the reactions that it engenders, and emphasizes the dynamic nature of the experience.
OBJECTIVE: Comparison of household and individual food consumption. DESIGN, SETTING AND SUBJECTS: Combined household and individual food consumption survey carried out in Sweden in 1989. A random sample of 3000 subjects aged 0-74 years, the household to which the subject belonged constituted the household unit. Each household recorded all the foods it purchased over a 4-week period, except food eaten outside the home. For the selected subject, excluding children
Food insecurity affected over 2.3 million Canadians in 2004. To date, the food security literature has not considered the potential impact of economic abuse on food security, but there are three ways in which these two important public health issues may be related: 1) victims of economic abuse are at risk of food insecurity when they are denied access to adequate financial resources; 2) the conditions that give rise to food insecurity may also precipitate intimate partner violence in all its forms; 3) women who leave economically abusive intimate heterosexual relationships are more likely to live in poverty and thus are at risk of food insecurity. This paper presents a case of one woman who, during a qualitative research interview, spontaneously reported economic abuse and heterosexual interpersonal violence. The economic abuse suffered by this participant appears to have affected her food security and that of her children, while her husband's was apparently unaffected. There is an urgent need to better understand the nature of intra-household food distribution in food-insecure households and the impact of economic abuse on its victims' food security. Such an understanding may lead to improved food security measurement tools and social policies to reduce food insecurity.
OBJECTIVE: To derive estimates of age-gender specific food availability, based on data collected at household level. DESIGN: Two alternative modelling approaches are described leading to linear and non-linear optimisation, respectively. The idea of penalised least squares is used for estimation of model parameters. The effect of household characteristics can be incorporated into both modelling approaches. SETTING: Household budget survey data from four European countries (Belgium, Greece, Norway and the United Kingdom), circa 1990.
Food insecurity, which has been recognized as an important determinant of health, is estimated to have affected almost one in ten Canadian households in 2004. Analyses of indicators of household food insecurity on several recent population health surveys have shed light on markers of vulnerability and the public health implications of this problem. However, the lack of detailed information on the economic circumstances of households and inconsistent measurement across surveys thwart attempts to develop a deeper understanding of problems of food insecurity. To better inform the development and evaluation of policies to address food insecurity among Canadian households, more effective monitoring is needed. This requires the consistent administration of a well-validated measure of food security on a population survey that routinely collects detailed information on the economic circumstances of households. Health professionals can contribute to the amelioration of problems of food insecurity in Canada by advocating for improved monitoring of the problem at a population level.
The prevalence of adult-level household food insecurity was examined among clients receiving outpatient diabetes health care services.
Participants were adults diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, who attended individual counselling sessions at Calgary's main clinic from January to April 2010. Clinicians were trained to administer the Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM), and did so with clients' assent during their scheduled sessions.
The prevalence of adult-level household food insecurity among 314 respondents was 15.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 11.2 to 19.4); 6.7% (95% CI, 4.2 to 10.0) of clinic attendees were categorized as severely food insecure. The comparable rates obtained in Alberta in 2007 using the same instrument (HFSSM) were 5.6% and 1.2%, respectively.
Household food insecurity rates among individuals with diabetes in active care are higher than rates reported in Canadian population surveys. Severe food insecurity, indicating reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns, may affect this population's ability to follow a pattern of healthy eating necessary for effective diabetes management. This study reinforces the importance of assessing clients' inability to access food because of financial constraints, and indicates that screening with a validated measure may facilitate identification of clients at risk.
Household food insecurity constrains food selection, but whether the dietary compromises associated with this problem heighten the risk of nutrient inadequacies is unclear. The objectives of this study were to examine the relationship between household food security status and adults' and children's dietary intakes and to estimate the prevalence of nutrient inadequacies among adults and children, differentiating by household food security status. We analyzed 24-h recall and household food security data for persons aged 1-70 y from the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey (cycle 2.2). The relationship between adults' and children's nutrient and food intakes and household food security status was assessed using regression analysis. Estimates of the prevalence of inadequate nutrient intakes by food security status and age/sex group were calculated using probability assessment methods. Poorer dietary intakes were observed among adolescents and adults in food-insecure households and many of the differences by food security status persisted after accounting for potential confounders in multivariate analyses. Higher estimated prevalences of nutrient inadequacy were apparent among adolescents and adults in food-insecure households, with the differences most marked for protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, folate, vitamin B-12, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Among children, few differences in dietary intakes by household food security status were apparent and there was little indication of nutrient inadequacy. This study indicates that for adults and, to some degree, adolescents, food insecurity is associated with inadequate nutrient intakes. These findings highlight the need for concerted public policy responses to ameliorate household food insecurity.
To identify socio-demographic factors associated with household food insecurity in the Ontario population.
Using data from the Ontario Share File of the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, multivariate logistic regression was applied to identify the socio-demographic characteristics of households most likely to report food insecurity.
Of the estimated 379,100 food-insecure households in Ontario in 2004, 55% were reliant on salaries or wages, 23% on social assistance, and 13% on pensions or seniors' benefits. The prevalence of food insecurity increased markedly as income adequacy declined, rising to 47% in the lowest category of income adequacy. Food insecurity was also more prevalent among tenant households and single-person and single-parent households. When all socio-demographic factors were taken into account, three potent socio-demographic correlates of household food insecurity in Ontario were identified: low income adequacy, social assistance as the main source of income, and not owning one's dwelling. Compared to households whose main source of income was salary or wages, the adjusted odds of experiencing food insecurity was 3.69 (95% CI: 2.33, 5.84) for households reliant on social assistance, but 0.44 (95% CI: 0.29, 0.67) for those reliant on pensions or seniors' benefits.
Our findings highlight the need for more adequate social assistance benefit levels, but also point to the need for better income supports for low-waged workers in Ontario so that they have sufficient financial resources to purchase the food they need.
Network analysis provides a powerful tool to analyze complex influences of social and ecological structures on community and household dynamics. Most network studies of social-ecological systems use simple, undirected, unweighted networks. We analyze multiplex, directed, and weighted networks of subsistence food flows collected in three small indigenous communities in Arctic Alaska potentially facing substantial economic and ecological changes. Our analysis of plausible future scenarios suggests that changes to social relations and key households have greater effects on community robustness than changes to specific wild food resources.
Cites: Science. 2010 May 14;328(5980):876-8 PMID 20466926
The aim of the study was (i) to describe the needs of food-insecure households and their assessment of community programmes, as expressed by households and perceived by stakeholders; and (ii) to examine the similarities and differences between households' and stakeholders' perceptions in Quebec City area.
A semi-structured interview and sociodemographic questionnaire with fifty-five households and fifty-nine stakeholders (community workers, managers, donor agencies). The transcriptions were subjected to content analysis and inter-coder reliability measurement.
The respondents' perceptions converge towards three main categories of needs: needs specific to food security, conditions necessary for achieving food security and related needs. There was agreement on the necessity of better financial resources, although the impact of financial resources alone may be uncertain in the opinion of some stakeholders. Different perceptions of needs and of their fulfilment by community programmes emerge between both groups. Despite households found positive aspects, they complained that quality of food and access were major needs neglected. Their account suggests overall a partial fit between the programmes and food security needs; even a combination of programmes (e.g. collective kitchens, purchasing groups, community gardens) was insufficient to adequately meet these needs. In contrast, most stakeholders perceived that the household's primary need was a basic amount of food and that the households were satisfied with programmes.
It is urgent to evaluate the overall effect of community programmes on specific aspects of household food insecurity. The results emphasise that community programmes alone cannot bring about social change needed to prevent food insecurity.