What do we really know? Metrics for food insecurity and undernutrition
AbstractIn this article, we critically review the three most common approaches of assessing chronic food insecurity and undernutrition: (i) the FAO indicator of undernourishment, (ii) household food consumption surveys, and (iii) childhood anthropometrics. There is a striking and worrying degree of inconsistency when one compares available estimates, which is due to methodological and empirical problems associated with all three approaches. Hence, the true extent of food insecurity and undernutrition is unknown. We discuss strengths and weaknesses of each approach and make concrete suggestions for improvement, which also requires additional research. A key component will be the planning and implementation of more comprehensive, standardized, and timely household surveys that cover food consumption and anthropometry, in addition to other socioeconomic and health variables. Such combined survey data will allow much better assessment of the problems’ magnitude, as well as of trends, driving forces, and appropriate policy responses.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Food Policy.
Volume (Year): 36 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/foodpol
Food security measurement; Hunger; Undernutrition; FAO indicator of undernourishment; Household surveys; Anthropometrics;
Other versions of this item:
- Hartwig de Haen & Stephan Klasen & Matin Qaim, 2011. "What do we really know? Metrics for food insecurity and undernutrition," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 88, Courant Research Centre PEG.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ecker, Olivier & Weinberger, Katinka & Qaim, Matin, 2010.
"Patterns and determinants of dietary micronutrient deficiencies in rural areas of East Africa,"
Journal of Cooperatives,
NCERA-210, vol. 4(2), June.
- Ecker, Olivier & Weinberger, Katinka & Qaim, Matin, 2010. "Patterns and determinants of dietary micronutrient deficiencies in rural areas of East Africa," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(2), June.
- Behrman, Jere R & Deolalikar, Anil B, 1987. "Will Developing Country Nutrition Improve with Income? A Case Study for Rural South India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 492-507, June.
- Foraita, Ronja & Klasen, Stephan & Pigeot, Iris, 2008. "Using graphical chain models to analyze differences in structural correlates of undernutrition in Benin and Bangladesh," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 398-419, December.
- Klasen, Stephan, 2007.
"Poverty, Undernutrition, and Child Mortality: Some Inter-Regional Puzzles and their Implications for Research and Policy,"
Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, GÃ¶ttingen 2007
17, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
- Stephan Klasen, 2008. "Poverty, undernutrition, and child mortality: Some inter-regional puzzles and their implicationsfor research and policy," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 89-115, March.
- Klasen, Stephan, 2006. "Poverty, Undernutrition, and Child Mortality: Some Inter-Regional Puzzles and their Implications for Research and Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 2509, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Stephan Klasen, 2007. "Poverty, Undernutrition, and Child Mortality: Some Inter-Regional Puzzles and their Implications for Research and Policy," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers 156, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
- Ecker, Olivier & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Analyzing Nutritional Impacts of Policies: An Empirical Study for Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 412-428, March.
- Smith, Lisa C. & Alderman, Harold & Aduayom, Dede, 2006. "Food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa: new estimates from household expenditure surveys," Research reports 146, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Masset, Edoardo, 2011. "A review of hunger indices and methods to monitor country commitment to fighting hunger," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(Supplemen), pages S102-S108, January.
- Carola Gruen & Stephan Klasen, 2008. "Growth, inequality, and welfare: comparisons across space and time," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 212-236, April.
- Babatunde, Raphael O. & Qaim, Matin, 2010. "Impact of off-farm income on food security and nutrition in Nigeria," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 303-311, August.
- Filmer, Deon & Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
- Svedberg, Peter, 2002. "Undernutrition Overestimated," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 51(1), pages 5-36, October.
- Bouis, Howarth & Haddad, Lawrence & Kennedy, Eileen, 1992. "Does it matter how we survey demand for food?: Evidence from Kenya and the Philippines," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 349-360, October.
- Qaim, Matin & Stein, Alexander J. & Meenakshi, J.V., 2006.
"Economics of Biofortification,"
2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia
25584, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Bouis, Howarth E., 1994. "The effect of income on demand for food in poor countries: Are our food consumption databases giving us reliable estimates?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 199-226, June.
- Masset, Edoardo, 2011. "A review of hunger indices and methods to monitor country commitment to fighting hunger," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(S1), pages S102-S108.
- Babatunde, Raphael O. & Qaim, Matin, 2010. "Impact of Off-farm Income on Food Security and Nutrition in Nigeria," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 97332, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) & Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
- Mark Misselhorn, 2010. "Undernutrition and the Nutrition Transition: Revising the undernutrition aspect of MDG I," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 35, Courant Research Centre PEG.
- Prabhu Pingali, 2004.
"Westernization of Asian Diets and the Transformation of Food Systems: Implications for research and policy,"
04-17, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
- Pingali, Prabhu, 2007. "Westernization of Asian diets and the transformation of food systems: Implications for research and policy," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 281-298, June.
- Nassul S. Kabunga & Thomas Dubois & Matin Qaim, 2011. "Impact of Tissue Culture Banana Technology on Farm Household Income and Food Security in Kenya," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 89, Courant Research Centre PEG.
- Headey, Derek D. & Ecker, Olivier, 2012. "Improving the measurement of food security:," IFPRI discussion papers 1225, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Roemling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Dual Burden Households and Nutritional Inequality in Indonesia," Discussion Papers 126943, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
- Pangaribowo, Evita Hanie & Gerber, Nicolas & Torero, Maximo, 2013. "Food and Nutrition Security Indicators: A Review," Working Papers 147911, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
- Fischer, Elisabeth & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Gender, Agricultural Commercialization, and Collective Action in Kenya," Discussion Papers 121229, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
- Stein, Alexander J., 2013. "Rethinking the measurement of undernutrition in a broader health context: Should we look at possible causes or actual effects:," IFPRI discussion papers 1298, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Roemling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2013. "Dual burden households and intra-household nutritional inequality in Indonesia," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 563-573.
- Fischer, Elisabeth & Qaim, Matin, 2012. "Gender, Agricultural Commercialization, and Collective Action in Kenya," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126659, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.