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Food Insecurity or Poverty? Measuring Need-Related Dietary Adequacy


  • Jayanta Bhattacharya
  • Steven Haider
  • Janet Currie


We examine the extent to which food insecurity questions and the standard poverty measure are correlated with various dietary and physiologic outcomes. Our findings suggest that the correlations vary tremendously by age. We find that the food insecurity questions are correlated with the dietary outcomes of older household members, but that they are not consistently related to the diets of children. In contrast, poverty predicts dietary outcomes among preschoolers. Among adults, both poverty and food insecurity questions are good predictors of many dietary outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Jayanta Bhattacharya & Steven Haider & Janet Currie, 2002. "Food Insecurity or Poverty? Measuring Need-Related Dietary Adequacy," NBER Working Papers 9003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9003
    Note: CH HE LS PE

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nord, Mark, 2005. "Measuring U.S. Household Food Security," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, April.
    2. J. P. Derrickson & J. E.L. Anderson & A. G. Fisher, "undated". "Concurrent Validity of the Face Valid Food Security Measure," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1206-00, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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    Cited by:

    1. Borjas, George J., 2004. "Food insecurity and public assistance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1421-1443, July.
    2. Ribar, David C. & Hamrick, Karen S., 2003. "Dynamics Of Poverty And Food Sufficiency," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33851, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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