Food Insecurity among Children: Does Poverty Explain It All?

Vanessa Wight, Columbia University
Neeraj Kaushal, Columbia University
Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University

Using data from the 2001–2009 CPS FSS and ASEC supplements, this paper examines the association between poverty and food insecurity among children using the official measure of poverty and a more inclusive measure that captures a wide range of resources and expenses. Our objective is to study whether the association between food insecurity and poverty improves with a more comprehensive measure of income. Using logistic and multinomial logistic regression, we report three main findings. First, there is a strong and statistically significant association between official poverty and very low food security among children. When the categories of food insecurity are refined and children in households reporting any food hardship are removed from the reference group, the relationship between official income and food insecurity among children is stronger. Finally, using a more inclusive measure of income explains more of the variation in food insecurity among children than the official measure.

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Presented in Session 76: Poverty Measurement: Households and the Lifecourse