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Energy and nutrient supply according to food insecurity severity among Mexican households


  • Mariana Romo-Aviles

    (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana unidad Xochimilco)

  • Luis Ortiz-Hernández

    () (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana unidad Xochimilco)


Studies from Latin America have shown that food insecurity reduces dietary diversity. However, dietary diversity measures do not account for the energy and nutrient supply in households. The objective of our study was to know whether there are differences in food, energy and nutrients supplies in Mexican households according to their food insecurity level. We analyzed the database of the National Household Income and Expenditure Survey performed in Mexico in 2014. The modified Latin-American and Caribbean Food Security Scale was used to determine the existence of household food security or insecurity. Participants registered foods and beverages available at their homes during the previous week. The supply of energy and nutrients was estimated using Mexican and American food composition references. Mexican food secure households had greater supply of healthy (e.g., fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and seafood, and fresh meats) and unhealthy (e.g., processed meats, fries, sugar-sweetened beverages, desserts, and alcoholic beverages) foods. By contrast, food insecure households rely on cheap staple food (e.g. maize, rice, pulses, eggs, and sugar). There was a linear relationship between the energy density and severity of food insecurity. Households with mild and moderate food insecurity had greater total energy supplies than households with food security and severe food insecurity. Food insecure households had greater supplies of carbohydrates, cholesterol, iron, and magnesium, but lower supplies of protein, fat, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and sodium. Most of the results suggest that food insecure households are exposed mostly to negative aspects of the nutrition transition because they have greater access to energy and lower availability of some micronutrients.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariana Romo-Aviles & Luis Ortiz-Hernández, 2018. "Energy and nutrient supply according to food insecurity severity among Mexican households," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 10(5), pages 1163-1172, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:5:d:10.1007_s12571-018-0836-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s12571-018-0836-x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Popkin, Barry M., 1999. "Urbanization, Lifestyle Changes and the Nutrition Transition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1905-1916, November.
    2. Smith, Lisa C. & Subandoro, Ali, 2007. "Measuring food security using household expenditure surveys:," Food security in practice technical guide series 3, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Haddad, Lawrence & Kennedy, Eileen & Sullivan, Joan, 1994. "Choice of indicators for food security and nutrition monitoring," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 329-343, June.
    4. Vaitla, Bapu & Coates, Jennifer & Glaeser, Laura & Hillbruner, Christopher & Biswal, Preetish & Maxwell, Daniel, 2017. "The measurement of household food security: Correlation and latent variable analysis of alternative indicators in a large multi-country dataset," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 193-205.
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    Cited by:

    1. Spyros Kolovos & Gerardo A Zavala & Anne Sophie Leijen & Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez & Maurits Tulder, 2020. "Household food insecurity is associated with depressive symptoms: results from a Mexican population-based survey," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 12(2), pages 407-416, April.


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