• future directions to consider for strengthening measures of hunger prevalence for monitoring, evaluation, and related research purposes.

In Phase 2 of the study the panel was to consider in more depth the issues raised in Phase 1 relating to the concepts and methods used to measure food security and make recommendations as appropriate. In addition, the panel was asked to address and make recommendations on:

  • the content of the 18 items and the set of food security scales based on them currently used by USDA to measure food insecurity;

  • how best to incorporate and represent information about food security of both adults and children at the household level;

  • how best to incorporate information on food insecurity in prevalence measures;

  • needs and priorities for developing separate, tailored food security scales for population subgroups, for example, households versus individuals, all individuals versus children, and the general population versus homeless persons; and

  • future directions to consider for strengthening measures of food insecurity prevalence for monitoring, evaluation, and related research purposes throughout the national nutrition monitoring system.

The Committee on National Statistics appointed a panel of 10 experts to examine the above issues. In order to provide timely guidance to USDA, the panel issued an interim Phase 1 report, Measuring Food Insecurity and Hunger: Phase 1 Report. That report presented the panel’s preliminary assessments of the food security concepts and definitions; the appropriateness of identifying hunger as a severe range of food insecurity in such a survey-based measurement method; questions for measuring these concepts; and the appropriateness of a household survey for regularly monitoring food security in the U.S. population. It provided interim guidance for the continued production of the food security estimates. This final report primarily focuses on the Phase 2 charge. The major findings and conclusions based on the panel’s review and deliberations are summarized below, followed by the text of all of the recommendations.


Concepts and Definitions

The broad conceptual definitions of food security and insecurity developed by the expert panel convened in 1989 by the Life Sciences Research Office (LSRO) of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental

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