Submitted to: Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2003
Publication Date: 4/23/2004
Citation: Lofton, K.L., Connell, C.L., Yadrick, K.M. 2004. Children's interpretation of standard USDA food security survey terms [abstract]. Journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 18(4):A108.
Technical Abstract: Knowledge of children's interpretation of terms used in the US Food Security Survey (USFSS) is essential for developing questions that can be administered directly to children. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 32 low-income children ages 11-16 years (17 Black, 15 White, 16 male, 16 female) regarding their interpretation of terms used in the USFSS. The term 'balanced meal' was problematic for most children. Alternative terms, 'complete meal' and 'healthy meal' were less problematic. However, there appeared to be differences in the interpretation of both terms related to the type of foods described and in themes associated with each. Common themes that emerged related to these terms were 'fills you up' for complete meal and 'helps you grow' for healthy meal. Different interpretations also were noted for the term 'low-cost meal' used in the USFSS and the alternative term 'cheap meal.' Again children used specific foods to describe their interpretation of the difference in these two terms. Emerging themes for these terms were 'quick, inexpensive, and eaten away from home' for cheap meal and 'inexpensive foods prepared at home or canned foods' for low-cost meal. Results indicate determining children's interpretation and/or knowledge of terms used in nutritionrelated surveys is essential to improve validity and reliability of the survey. Supported by USDA/ERS cooperative agreement no. 43-3AEM-2-80033