|Type||Journal Article - Research square|
|Title||Validity of the Food Insecurity Experience Scale and Prevalence of Food Insecurity in the Bahamas|
Background: Despite United Nations’ recommendations to monitor food insecurity using the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), to date there are no published reports of its validity for the Bahamas, nor have prevalence rates of moderate or severe food insecurity been reported for the nation. At the same time, food security is a deep concern, with increasing incidence of natural disasters and health
concerns related to diet-related disease and dietary quality plaguing the nation.
Objectives: This paper aims to examine 1) the validity of the FIES for use in the Bahamas, 2) moderate and severe food insecurity prevalence, and 3) the socio-demographic factors which contribute to increased food insecurity.
Methods: The FIES was administered via randomized and weighted landline telephone survey in Nassau, Bahamas to 1,000 participants
in June and July of 2017. The Rasch modelling procedure was applied to examine tool validity, and outcomes used to report prevalence.
A regression analysis informed the relationship between household variables and food security.
Results: The FIES met acceptable ranges for t statistics for all eight items and the overall Rasch reliability is 0.7. The prevalence of moderate and severe food insecurity is 21%, and the prevalence of severe food insecurity is 10%. Statistically signicant variables that contribute to food insecurity include education, age, gender, and presence of diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.
Conclusions: This study, which is among the rst to comprehensively measure food security in The Bahamas, provides a baseline for further research and evaluation of practices aimed at mitigating food insecurity in SIDS. Further, this study provides a baseline for future research which may seek to understand the impacts of Hurricane Dorian. Post-disaster food security data is needed to further understand the extent to which food security is impacted by natural disasters and identify which sectors and stakeholders are most vital in restructuring the agricultural sector and improving food availability following such catastrophic events.