Prevalence of food security in the UK measured by the Food Insecurity Experience Scale

Type Journal Article - Journal of Public Health
Title Prevalence of food security in the UK measured by the Food Insecurity Experience Scale
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2021
Page numbers 1-8
Abstract
Background Measurement of UK food insecurity has historically been inconsistent, making it difcult to understand trends. This study
contributes by reporting and analysing data from a national survey conducted in line with UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
recommendations and standard methods, providing an internationally comparable pre-coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) snapshot of food
insecurity.
Methods Data came from a nationally representative 2019 UK sample (N = 2000) surveyed by Ipsos-Mori. Prevalence of food insecurity was
assessed using the UN FAO Food Insecurity Experience Scale. Logistic regression was used to model food insecurity in relation to geographic
and socio-demographic variables.
Results Severe food insecurity was reported by 3% of the sample, an increase of 66.7% over the last directly comparable UK analysis (Gallup
World Poll data from 2016 to 2018). Indication of some degree of food insecurity was reported by 14.2% of the sample and tended to be
higher amongst younger age groups, those on lower incomes, and home renters (as opposed to owners). No geographic variables were
signicantly associated with food insecurity prevalence.
Conclusions The nding that prevalence of severe food insecurity was already increasing before the COVID-19 pandemic, across all areas of
the UK, is cause for concern. Our results provide an important benchmark for assessing the impact of COVID-19 on food insecurit