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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374303

Research Project: Development of Economically Important Row Crops that Improve the Resilience of U.S. Agricultural Production to Present and Future Production Challenges

Location: Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research

Title: Coping behaviors and the concept of time poverty: a review of perceived social and health outcomes of food insecurity on women and children

item CHAUDHURI, SRIROOP - Op Jindal Global University
item ROY, MIMI - Op Jindal Global University
item MCDONALD, LOUIS - West Virginia University
item Emendack, Yves

Submitted to: Food Security Journal
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2021
Publication Date: 6/16/2021
Citation: Chaudhuri, S., Roy, M., McDonald, L., Emendack, Y. 2021. Coping behaviors and the concept of time poverty: a review of perceived social and health outcomes of food insecurity on women and children. Food Security Journal.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript is a review paper on food security co-authored by ARS scientist with corresponding/main author being Dr. Sriroop Chaudhuri from the OP Jindal Global University in India. We present this study as seeking clarifications to certain questions: What are the most common adaptation behaviors around food insecurity? How are children involved in the process? What do women bring in to the system? How confident are we that what we see, are? What means are available to ‘measure’ coping behaviors? An idea implicit to the first two is: Do ‘coping’ behaviors help out on long run, or are they temporary breathers only? To that end, we reflect on women’s position in the farming sector with specific insights into gender discrimination in farm sector, and time poverty – how they are aligned with adaptation strategies. The fourth question come more like argumentative dialogues seeking to involve policy-makers, academics, NGOs, food practitioners/social workers, to distinguish coping behavior per se vis-a-vis life-as-usual practices. The final question highlight issues involved with coping strategy indices (CSI), popularly used tools to ascertain severity of coping behaviors. Throughout the narrative the terms ‘food insecurity’ and ‘changes in food environment’ are used interchangeably. Likewise, terms ‘coping strategy/coping behavior’ and ‘adaptive behavior/adaptive strategy’ inherently denote the same.

Technical Abstract: Mounting concerns over food insecurity have become a key agenda in many recent global development dialogue, on accounts of likely impacts on human sustainability planning. Present study attempts a reflective summary around a yet unexplored aspect: health/social consequences of coping behaviors ( adaptive strategies to improve food (availability/accessibility/utilization/stability), specifically focusing on women and children. It ensues from the belief that such introspective enumeration of consumers’ behavior may help concerned authorities in preempting judicious policy interventions on a priori basis, and trigger more argeted/informed research work in future. Literature search included journals, reports, working paper, white papers, proceedings, dissertations, newspaper articles, book chapters, grey literature etc. published for the post- 2000s period. The review identified two generic ategories: (a) non-food (livelihood alterations) and (2) food-based (‘food rationing’, ‘food stretching’, ‘food seeking’, ‘food sharing’). Prime livelihood alterations include seeking outdoor employment, selling asset bases, borrowing food/money, purchase food on credit etc., while food-based strategies include reducing portion sizes, shifting to low-quality diet, eating ready-to-eat food, skipping meals etc. Those involving children include, school dropout, begging/stealing, eating with elatives/friends/charitable institutions etc. Likely health concerns include stunting-wasting, disrupted socio-cognitive development etc. among children, while double burden women, complications during pregnancy, psychological disorders (e.g. anxiety, stress, depression, hopelessness etc.). In the process, the narrative deliberates on farm-women’s ‘time poverty’ concern, how it affects their personal and children’s nutrition outcomes; and ponders upon the paradox around it - women aid in translation of goods-services in a vibrant agriculture, but faces the first brunt of food insecurity. In the final section, however, we appeal to the concerned authorities, and all other parties involved in food security strategy development, to revisit the fundamental notion of coping per se , so as to be certain Powered by Editorial Manager® and ProduXion Manager® from Aries Systems Corporation on multidimensional linkages is shares with changing food environment. To that end we present a brief critique on Coping Strategy Index (CSI) –a widely use policy tool to measure ‘severity’ of behavioral adaptations around of food insecurity- to elicit opportunities vis-à-vis challenges therein.