NWS-12 Eliminate very low food security among children

National Data Source
Current Population Survey (CPS); U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (Census and DOL/BLS)
Changed Since the Healthy People 2020 Launch
No
Measure
percent 
Baseline (Year)
1.3 (2008)
Target
0.2
Target-Setting Method
Maintain consistency with national programs, regulations, policies, and laws.
Numerator
Number of U.S. households with very low food security among children over a 12-month period
Denominator
Number of U.S. households with children in December
Questions Used to Obtain the National Baseline Data

From the 2008 Food Security Supplement to the Current Population Survey:

[NUMERATOR:]

(I/we) relied on only a few kinds of low-cost food to feed the children because I/we were running out of money to buy food. Was that often, sometimes, or never true for (you/your household) in the last 12 months?

  1. Often
  2. Sometimes
  3. Never

(I/we) couldn't feed the children a balanced meal because (I/we) couldn't afford that. Was that often, sometimes, or never true for you in the last 12 months?

  1. Often
  2. Sometimes
  3. Never

The children were not eating enough because (I/we) just couldn't afford enough food. Was that often, sometimes, or never true for you in the last 12 months?

  1. Often
  2. Sometimes
  3. Never

In the last 12 months, did you ever cut the size of any of the children's meals because there wasn't enough money for food?

  1. Yes
  2. No

In the last 12 months, were the children ever hungry but you just couldn't afford more food?

  1. Yes
  2. No

In the last 12 months, did any of the children ever skip a meal because there wasn't enough money for food?

  1. Yes
  2. No

[If yes:]

How often did this happen - almost every month, some month but not every month, or in only 1 or 2 months?

  1. Yes
  2. No

In the last 12 months, did any of the children ever not eat for a whole day because there wasn't enough money for food?

  1. Yes
  2. No
Data Collection Frequency
Annual
Comparable Healthy People 2010 Objective
Not applicable

Comments

Methodology Notes

The U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module is a set of 18 questions developed in the early 1990s by an interagency working group led jointly by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service and HHS's National Center for Health Statistics. Eight of the questions ask about food conditions among children in the household. All of the questions in the module focus explicitly on food inadequacy and insufficiency that result from inadequate household resources. Other sources of food insecurity, such as child abuse or neglect are not identified by the measure.

The Food Security Supplement questions are administered to about 45,000 households as part of an annual Food Security Supplement to the monthly, nationally representative Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. About 15,000 of the households include children age 0 to 17. The supplement has been conducted annually since 1995.

A statistical analysis of the survey responses identified a set of 18 questions that are used to measure food insecurity in the household and a subset of 8 child-referenced questions the measure food insecurity among children in the household at various levels of severity. Both measures represent the most severe food insecurity that has occurred over the 12-month period prior to the survey. Households are classified as having high or marginal food security among children if zero or one of the child-referenced questions are answered affirmatively. Low food security is indicated by affirmative responses to 2, 3 or 4 questions, and very low food security by affirmative responses to 5 or more questions. Answers of "yes," "often," or "sometimes" are considered affirmative. Very low food security among children is a severe range of food insecurity in which children’s eating patterns are disrupted and food intake reduced below levels considered adequate by the adult respondent.

References and More Information

  1. Bickel, G.; Nord, M.; Price, C.; et al. Guide to Measuring Household Food Security. Revised 2000. Alexandria, VA: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), 2000.
  2. Hamilton, W.L.; et al. Household Food Security in the United States in 1995: Technical Report of the Food Security measurement Project. Washington DC: Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Food and Consumer Service, USDA, 1997b.
  3. Hamilton, W.L.; et al. Household Food Security the United States in 1995: Summary Report of the Food Security measurement Project. Washington DC: Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Food and Consumer Service, USDA, 1997a.