Submitted to: Dietary Assessment Methods International Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2002
Publication Date: 1/26/2003
Citation: STUFF, J., HORTON, J., BOGLE, M.L., CONNELL, C., RYAN, D.H., ZAGHLOUL, S., THORNTON, A., SIMPSON, P., SZETO, K., WEBER, J. HIGH PREVALENCE OF FOOD INSECURITY AND HUNGER IN HOUSEHOLDS IN RURAL LOWER MISSISSIPI DELTA. DIETARY ASSESSMENT METHODS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS. Chiang Rai, Thailand. 2003. Abstract No. B1.12. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The USDA Household Core Food Security Module was used to assess the prevalence of food insecurity and hunger in 1,662 households in 36 counties and parishes in the LMD of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. High-risk subgroups were identified and compared to national data. The LMD is a rural agricultural region with high rates of poverty, unemployment, public assistance participation, reduced food access, low educational attainment, and high rates of chronic disease. A two-stage stratified cluster sample representing the population in the 36 LMD counties and parishes, and random digit dialing methodology, were used to identify the sample households. The prevalence of food insecurity in the LMD was 21.1%, double the rate for U.S. households (10.5%), and the prevalence of food insecurity with hunger was 6.5%, also double the U.S. rate (3.1%). The highest rates of food insecurity were found in households with income <$15,000, African American households, households with children, and participants in food assistance programs. For each high-risk sub-group, the prevalence was 1.5 to 2 times greater in the LMD than in the corresponding group nationwide. The LMD is a region characterized by a high prevalence of food insecurity and hunger. Regional studies are vital to identify high-risk sub-groups in the U.S. and to modify existing food assistance program policies accordingly. Further study is needed to evaluate causes of food insecurity and strategies to reduce the prevalence both nationally and regionally. Supported by USDA, ARS Project #6251-5300-003-00D.