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Am J Public Health. 1999 August; 89(8): 1231–1234.
PMCID: PMC1508674

The effectiveness of a short form of the Household Food Security Scale.


OBJECTIVES: On the basis of an 18-item Household Food Security Scale, a short form was developed to assess financially based food insecurity and hunger in surveys of households with and without children. METHODS: To maximize the probability that households would be correctly classified with respect to food insecurity and hunger, 6 items from the full scale were selected on the basis of April 1995 Current Population Survey data. RESULTS: The short form classified 97.7% of households correctly and underestimated the prevalence of overall food insecurity and of hunger by 0.3 percentage points. CONCLUSIONS: The short form of the Household Food Security Scale is a brief but potentially useful tool for national surveys and some state/local applications.

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Selected References

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  • Carlson SJ, Andrews MS, Bickel GW. Measuring food insecurity and hunger in the United States: development of a national benchmark measure and prevalence estimates. J Nutr. 1999 Feb;129(2S):510S–516S. [PubMed]
  • Campbell CC. Food insecurity: a nutritional outcome or a predictor variable? J Nutr. 1991 Mar;121(3):408–415. [PubMed]
  • Kendall A, Olson CM, Frongillo EA., Jr Validation of the Radimer/Cornell measures of hunger and food insecurity. J Nutr. 1995 Nov;125(11):2793–2801. [PubMed]
  • Radimer KL, Olson CM, Campbell CC. Development of indicators to assess hunger. J Nutr. 1990 Nov;120 (Suppl 11):1544–1548. [PubMed]
  • Habicht JP, Meyers LD. Principles for effective surveys of hunger and malnutrition in the United States. J Nutr. 1991 Mar;121(3):403–407. [PubMed]

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