Food Insecurity: Determinants and Impacts



This chapter reviews studies examining food security on a household level in developed countries. It focuses on two issues: the individual determinants of food insecurity, and the impact of food insecurity on health. On the first issue, reflecting a wide variety of situations depending on the country and the population sample under consideration, this chapter examines the relevant socio-demographic and socio-economic variables, as well as the cultural factors associated with food insecurity. Despite their great heterogeneity, the studies examined show that the group of factors significantly linked to food insecurity generally overlap with poverty indicators such as income and standard-of-living indicators or the determinants of poverty. One very robust finding concerns the link between a lack of academic or professional qualifications and food insecurity. Despite this, poverty and food insecurity cannot be equated. Concerning the issue of the relationship between food insecurity and health, most studies are cross-sectional studies of the general population in English-speaking countries. Reviewing the impact on children’s health, adult health, diet and nutritional intake, and weight status, findings converge to show that food insecurity is associated with poor health at all ages. They show the importance of taking action to improve the situation of homes suffering from this multifaceted trend.


Food insecurity Food security Household Poverty Diet Health Nutritional intake 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Nutrition DivisionINRA 1110, CIRAD, SupAgro, CIHEAM-IAMMMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.ALISS, INRA 1303Ivry-Sur-SeineFrance

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