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Household food insecurity in Brazilian adolescents: a validation study


The objective of this study was to evaluate the internal and predictive validity of a six-item household food insecurity scale to measure food insecurity in Brazilian adolescents.


A cross-sectional study with a representative sample of Brazilian adolescents (N=14,690) was conducted in public and private schools in 26 state capitals and in the Federal District of Brazil using an online questionnaire.


Most respondents were female (53.2%) with mean age of 14.4 years, and 72.7% of them attended public schools. The psychometric properties of the scale, assessed using the Rasch model, showed better response rates without the item five, exhibiting optimal Infit statistics and an increasing level of severity among the items. Cronbach's á was 0.767. Differential item functioning analyses showed similar behavior between the items in the subgroups evaluated. Factor analysis confirmed the unidimensionality of the scale.


This study proposes the removal of the item five and the inclusion of new cut-off points for this short form of the scale. The Household Food Security Scale (short form) is valid and reliable to measure household food insecurity in Brazilian adolescents.

Adolescents; Rasch model; Food Security

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