When food insecurity occurs in U.S. households, it is usually recurrent but not chronic
In 2012, 14.5 percent of U.S. households were food insecure some time during the year and 5.7 percent experienced very low food security. Food-insecure households had trouble putting adequate food on the table due to a lack of money and other resources for food. Households in the severe range of food insecurity, described as very low food security, reported reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns. Questions used to assess households’ food security status ask whether a condition, experience, or behavior occurred at any time in the past 12 months, and households can be classified as having very low food security based on a single, severe episode during the year. Households with very low food security at some time during the year experienced the conditions, on average, in 7 months during the year. An estimated 3.3 percent of U.S. households had very low food security during the 30-day period ending in mid-December 2012. Most households that had very low food security at some time during a month experienced the associated conditions in 1 to 7 days of the month. A version of this chart appears in Household Food security in the United States in 2012, September 2013.
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