Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Food Insecurity and Hunger
Sara A. Quandt
Food security is access by all people in a population at all times to a reliable supply of food from socially acceptable sources sufficient for an active and healthy life. In contrast, food insecurity is the involuntary shortage of food due to economic constraints. When this food shortage progresses to the point that physical symptoms are felt, hunger occurs. Since the 1990s, these terms have largely come to replace a focus on malnutrition , a physiological condition that can arise from both shortages of food and disease processes. Worldwide, population levels of food insecurity tend to be associated with gross domestic product; within the United States, ethnic minorities and families with children have higher levels of food insecurity. Hunger and food insecurity were rediscovered in the United States during the 1960s as physicians supported by the Field Foundation visited poor populations and reported widespread nutritional problems previously assumed to exist ...