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MMWR Facts About Food Security

October 20, 2000
Contact: Kathryn Harben
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention 
& Health Promotion
(770) 488-5131

Facts About Food Security

  • About 4% to 6% of adults in eight states reported not having enough food for themselves or their families during the previous month for the years 1996 through 1998, according to data from CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a monthly telephone survey of a representative sample of U.S. adults.

  • Not having enough food was reported most often by
  • Women,
  • People between the ages of 18 and 34,
  • People who were divorced or separated or who had never been married,
  • People who had more children,
  • Non-Hispanic African Americans and Hispanics,
  • People who were unemployed, and
  • People who reported having lower socioeconomic status.
  • Not having enough food was also associated with fair or poor health, lower intake of fruits and vegetables, a higher number of reported days when physical or mental health was described as "not good," and inability to afford a doctor.

  • The data for this report came from eight states—Maryland, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Virginia in 1996; Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia in 1997; and Missouri and Virginia in 1998.

  • "Healthy People 2010" national objectives aim to increase food security and reduce the risk of hunger among all Americans. State and local governments can use these data to develop interventions to reduce the numbers of people who report not having enough food for themselves and their families.

  • "Self-Reported Concern about Food Security—Eight States, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1996-1998" will be available online at the CDC web site on Friday, October 20, 2000.


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This page last reviewed October 20, 2000

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