Validation of an Abbreviated Child and Adult Food Security Scale (ACAFSS)

Originally presented at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy “25 Years of Food Security Measurement” Conference.

Food insecurity is a national public health issue, affecting 14.8% of US households with children. Because food insecurity negatively impacts the physical and mental health of children and their parents, it is crucial to monitor and quickly respond to changes in its occurrence. In this sense, we developed and validated a sensitive, specific, and valid abbreviated food security scale that balances respondent burden, time and/or financial constraints with the precision of measuring severity of food insecurity in both adults and children in the same household. The Abbreviated Child and Adult Food Security Survey (ACAFSS) is recommended for wide­spread adoption as either a stand-alone scale, or as a follow-up scale after households with children screen positive for food insecurity using the Hunger Vital Sign™. The ACAFSS is also recommended for planning and evaluating timely interventions, especially when rapid decision-making is crucial, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.