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Public Health Nutr. 2012 Jan;15(1):149-57. doi: 10.1017/S1368980011001376. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

Validity of an adapted Household Food Insecurity Access Scale in urban households in Iran.

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Department of Community Nutrition, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, PO Box 19395-4741, Tehran, Iran.



To assess the validity of a locally adapted Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) in the measurement of household food insecurity (FI) in the city of Tehran.


A cross-sectional study.


Urban households were selected through a systematic cluster sampling method from six different districts of Tehran. The socio-economic status of households was evaluated using a questionnaire by means of interviews. An adapted HFIAS was used to measure FI. Content validity was assessed by an expert panel, and the questionnaire was then tested among ten households for clarity. Criterion validity was assessed by comparing the measure with a number of determinants and consequences of FI. Internal consistency was evaluated by Cronbach's α and exploratory factor analysis. For repeatability, the questionnaire was administered twice to twenty-five households at an interval of 20 d and Pearson's correlation coefficient was calculated.


A total of 416 households.


In all, 11·8 %, 14·4 % and 17·5 % of the households were severely, moderately and mildly food insecure, respectively. Cronbach's α was 0·855. A significant correlation was observed between the two administrations of the questionnaire (r = 0·895, P < 0·001). Factor analysis of HFIAS items revealed two factors: the first five items as factor 1 (mild-to-moderate FI) and the last four as factor 2 (severe FI). Heads of food-secure households had higher education and higher job position compared with heads of food-insecure households (P < 0·001). Income and expenditure were lower in food-insecure households compared with food-secure households.


Adapted HFIAS showed acceptable levels of internal consistency, criterion validity and reliability in assessing household FI among Tehranians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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