Concepts and Definitions
Recommendation 3-1: USDA should continue to measure and monitor food insecurity regularly in a household survey. Given that hunger is a separate concept from food insecurity, USDA should undertake a program to measure hunger, which is an important potential consequence of food insecurity.
Recommendation 3-2: To measure hunger, which is an individual and not a household construct, USDA should develop measures for individuals on the basis of a structured research program, and develop and implement a modified or new data gathering mechanism. The first step should be to develop an operationally feasible concept and definition of hunger.
Recommendation 3-3: USDA should examine in its research program ways to measure other potential, closely linked, consequences of food insecurity, in addition to hunger, such as feelings of deprivation and alienation, distress, and adverse family and social interaction.
Recommendation 3-4: USDA should examine alternate labels to convey the severity of food insecurity without the problems inherent in the current labels. Furthermore, USDA should explicitly state in its annual reports that the data presented in the report are estimates of prevalence of household food insecurity and not prevalence of hunger among individuals.
Recommendation 4-1: USDA should determine the best way to measure frequency and duration of household food insecurity. Any revised or additional measures should be appropriately tested before implementing them in the Household Food Security Survey Module.
Recommendation 4-2: USDA should revise the wording and ordering of the questions in the Household Food Security Survey Module. Examples of possible revisions that should be considered include improvements in the consistent treatment of reference periods, reference units, and response options across questions. The revised questions should reflect modern cognitive questionnaire design principles and new data collection technology and should be tested prior to implementation.