Food Insecurity Is Under-reported in Surveys That Ask About the Past Year

Posted on by Stephen Gee

Food insecurity affects 1 in 10 Americans in a typical year; recent U.S. Department of Agriculture data show that this food insecurity rate was stable from 2019 to 2021. However, data from Los Angeles County and other U.S. regions show that food insecurity spiked during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. One reason for this discrepancy may be that food insecurity measures assess experiences over different time frames. This study investigated the discrepancies in food insecurity rates by comparing past-week and past-year food insecurity measures and explored the role of recall bias.

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