Measuring and understanding food insecurity in Australia: a systematic review

McKay, Fiona, Haines, Bronte and Dunn, Matthew 2019, Measuring and understanding food insecurity in Australia: a systematic review, International journal of environmental research and public health, vol. 16, no. 3, doi: 10.3390/ijerph16030476.

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Title Measuring and understanding food insecurity in Australia: a systematic review
Author(s) McKay, FionaORCID iD for McKay, Fiona
Haines, Bronte
Dunn, MatthewORCID iD for Dunn, Matthew
Journal name International journal of environmental research and public health
Volume number 16
Issue number 3
Article ID 476
Total pages 27
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2019-02-06
ISSN 1661-7827
Keyword(s) Australia
food insecurity
food security
Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Environmental Sciences
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Summary The number of Australians seeking food aid has increased in recent years; however, the current variability in the measurement of food insecurity means that the prevalence and severity of food insecurity in Australia is likely underreported. This is compounded by infrequent national health surveys that measure food insecurity, resulting in outdated population-level food insecurity data. This review sought to investigate the breadth of food insecurity research conducted in Australia to evaluate how this construct is being measured. A systematic review was conducted to collate the available Australian research. Fifty-seven publications were reviewed. Twenty-two used a single-item measure to examine food security status; 11 used the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM); two used the Radimer/Cornell instrument; one used the Household Food and Nutrition Security Survey (HFNSS); while the remainder used a less rigorous or unidentified method. A wide range in prevalence and severity of food insecurity in the community was reported; food insecurity ranged from 2% to 90%, depending on the measurement tool and population under investigation. Based on the findings of this review, the authors suggest that there needs to be greater consistency in measuring food insecurity, and that work is needed to create a measure of food insecurity tailored for the Australian context. Such a tool will allow researchers to gain a clear understanding of the prevalence of food insecurity in Australia to create better policy and practice responses.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/ijerph16030476
Field of Research MD Multidisciplinary
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2019, The Authors
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