Perception scales of validated food insecurity: the experience of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

Naiara Sperandio Dayane de Castro Morais Silvia Eloiza Priore About the authors

Abstract

The scope of this systematic review was to compare the food insecurity scales validated and used in the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and analyze the methods used in validation studies. A search was conducted in the Lilacs, SciELO and Medline electronic databases. The publications were pre-selected by titles and abstracts, and subsequently by a full reading. Of the 16,325 studies reviewed, 14 were selected. Twelve validated scales were identified for the following countries: Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Argentina and Guatemala. Besides these, there is the Latin American and Caribbean scale, the scope of which is regional. The scales ranged from the standard reference used, number of questions and diagnosis of insecurity. The methods used by the studies for internal validation were calculation of Cronbach's alpha and the Rasch model; for external validation the authors calculated association and /or correlation with socioeconomic and food consumption variables. The successful experience of Latin America and the Caribbean in the development of national and regional scales can be an example for other countries that do not have this important indicator capable of measuring the phenomenon of food insecurity.

Key words
Food and nutrition security; Validation studies; Latin America

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