Document Type



Household food security shows little indication of nutrient inadequacy among children, according to reports made by parents. We examined the associations of food insecurity as reported by children and mothers with children’s consumption of energy, macronutrients such as vitamin A, calcium, iron and zinc, and selected foods, and whether these associations differed by child’s gender. This cross-sectional study had non-probabilistic 128 Venezuelan mother–child pairs. We assessed food insecurity and management strategies in children using 10- and nine-item instruments, respectively. Mothers’ report of food insecurity came from a previously validated 12-item instrument. Nutrient intake of children was assessed with a 67-item food frequency questionnaire. Comparisons were made using chi-square test for contingency tables and t-tests for trends (P < 0.05). Linear regression models were used for intakes of nutrients and selected foods. We tested for interactions with gender. Prevalence of child- and mother-reported food insecurity was 83.6 and 61.7%, respectively (P < 0.01). Greater food insecurity or management strategies reported by boys was associated with lower calcium, iron and zinc intake (P < 0.05), but reported intakes were low in girls who are even food secure. Rice and corn flour consumption was higher with higher food insecurity in children. Papaya and banana were less consumed by food-insecure children. We found shifts in 13 of 67 foods consumed, with less quality in those food insecure, as reported by children. Mother-reported food insecurity was associated only with rice intake of children. In contrast to mothers’ reports, food insecurity reported by children was associated with children’s lower quality of diet and shifts in foods consumed.

APA Citation

Bernal, J., Frongillo Jr., E. A., & Rivera, J. A. (n.d.). Food Insecurity Reported by Children, but Not by Mothers, Is Associated With Lower Quality of Diet and Shifts in Foods Consumed. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 12, 546–557.


© 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd