Who's Hungry? and How Do We Know? Food Shortage, Poverty, and Deprivation

Who's Hungry? and How Do We Know? Food Shortage, Poverty, and Deprivation

Who's Hungry? and How Do We Know? Food Shortage, Poverty, and Deprivation

Who's Hungry? and How Do We Know? Food Shortage, Poverty, and Deprivation

Synopsis

This book recognizes that any attempt to reduce hunger requires a sound understanding of which people are affected. It differentiates between food shortage (regional food scarcity), food poverty (inadequate household food supplies), and food deprivation (individual malnutrition) in order to identify the causes of hunger and recommend ways to effectively target interventions. It also focuses on a critical second question--how do we know who the hungry are? The authors explain commonly-used means of measuring hunger, the assumptions embedded in these measures, and what can and cannot be concluded from the evidence. They examine how rules for food distribution operate under normal versus crisis conditions. The shortage/poverty/deprivation framework is designed to call attention to hunger even when food is abundant, as well as to learn how hunger is avoided even when food is scarce. With many tools in place for combating hunger, the book draws attention to the policies that are working and to the individuals, households, and communities that are underserved. The book refines common thinking about the underlying causes of hunger by examining who are most affected.

Excerpt

In July 1986 the Feinstein World Hunger Program faculty at Brown University, directed by geographer Robert Kates, began formulating a conceptual framework for analysing hunger and hunger-related policy making. This “hunger typology” is based on a three-tiered paradigm of hunger causation and consequences that draws on methods of food production/famine research, entitlement theory, and nutrition/nutritional anthropology. The framework brings together the disparate disciplines of political economics, sociology–anthropology, and public health–human biology, and also policy and organizational research. It integrates their approaches and evidence into a single format that allows all to identify “who's hungry” and take steps to prevent and alleviate hunger.

The hunger typology distinguishes among situations of food shortage, food poverty, or food deprivation. At a regional or national level, a food shortage may be due to political, climatic, or other socioeconomic forces. Such food-short or famine conditions can be distinguished from food poverty at the household level, in which people go hungry because they lack the resources to acquire food even when the regional food supply is sufficient. Ultimately, even if households have sufficient resources to command and access food, individuals go hungry if distribution rules militate against their getting an adequate share, if cultural rules of consumption prejudice them from consuming an adequate mix of nutrients, or if individuals are ill and unable to ingest, metabolize, or benefit from the nutrients potentially available. This third context, termed food deprivation, includes situations of malnutrition among the so-called vulnerable groups: infants and . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.