Frank Field – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Frank Field on 2016-02-24.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will include the Food Insecurity Experience Scale survey in the next Family Food survey in order to assess households’ vulnerability to hunger.

George Eustice

We do not intend to measure household food insecurity because there is no single definition of food insecurity. The Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES) is one method, but the factors that impact on household food security are complex. There are multiple indicators such as quality, variety and desirability of diet as well as total intake, not all of which are measured consistently. It is therefore very difficult and potentially misleading to develop a single classification of food insecurity.

The OECD ‘Society at a Glance 2014’ report published figures showing that the proportion of those who say they are finding it difficult to afford food in the UK declined over the past 5 years 2007 – 2012: from 9.8% to 8.1%. This was based on Gallup World Poll data which actually used one of the questions which form part of the FIES.