Objectives. We sought to determine the prevalence of food insecurity using food insecurity experience-based scales (FIES) and frequency consumption of fruit and vegetable in households with preschool-aged children.
Methods. As part of a larger study which included teacher training, a pre-assessment survey of 191 parents and caregivers of preschool children was conducted in a Florida District. Based on the food insecurity experience-based scale (FIES) that was developed for monitoring global hunger, families’ responses to nine food security questions were categorized into 4 levels: Anxiety and uncertainty about the household food supply, insufficient quality and preferences of the type of food, insufficient food intake and its physical consequences, and hunger. A fruit and vegetable frequency Likert-scale type questionnaire measured intakes.
Results. Eighty-two percent of the respondents were food secure, and an overall 18% reported food insecurity at some level. Using FIES model as a continuum indicator of food insecurity, 18% of respondents reported anxiety and uncertainty in food supply; 16.1%, 16.2 and 19.7% responded to three questions that measured the domain labeled as compromising or limited variety of food due to resources; 11.8%, 8.7%, and 2.7% of participants responded to three questions that measured the domain labeled as experiencing reduced intake; while a smaller percentages experienced hunger (4.3% went to sleep hungry and 1.5% experienced whole day/night hunger). Fruit and vegetables were consumed at least one time per day or week by levels of food insecure households. Significant mean differences in consumption frequency were found for fresh and canned/frozen vegetables and canned/frozen fruits.
Conclusion. Despite the levels of food insecurity experienced by the households, fruit and vegetable intake in some form was consumed at least one time each week. A nutrition intervention is needed to assist food insecure individuals with appropriate food choice even with limited supply.
Sealey-Potts, Claudia and Labyak, Corinne A.
"Food Insecurity and Frequency Intakes of Fruits and Vegetables of Households in a Southeastern U.S. Region,"
Florida Public Health Review: Vol. 17
, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/fphr/vol17/iss1/11