Who's Hungry? And How Do We Know?: Food Shortage, Poverty, and Deprivation

Who's Hungry? And How Do We Know?: Food Shortage, Poverty, and Deprivation


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This book recognizes that any attempt to reduce hunger requires a sound understanding of which people are affected. It differentiates between food shortage (regional food scarcity), food poverty (inadequate household food supplies), and food deprivation (individual malnutrition) in order to identify the causes of hunger and recommend ways to effectively target interventions. It also focuses on a critical second question--how do we know who the hungry are? The authors explain commonly-used means of measuring hunger, the assumptions embedded in these measures, and what can and cannot be concluded from the evidence. They examine how rules for food distribution operate under normal versus crisis conditions. The shortage/poverty/deprivation framework is designed to call attention to hunger even when food is abundant, as well as to learn how hunger is avoided even when food is scarce. With many tools in place for combating hunger, the book draws attention to the policies that are working and to the individuals, households, and communities that are underserved. The book refines common thinking about the underlying causes of hunger by examining who are most affected.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789280809855
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
Publication date: 03/01/1998
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.49(d)
Lexile: 1480L (what's this?)

About the Author

Laurie DeRose is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brown University. She teaches primarily in the fields of demography, development, and methodology. Ellen Messer is a nutritional anthropologist. She has been Associate Professor at the Brown University World Hunger Program since 1986 and was Director from 1993 to 1996. She is co-editor of the Program's bi-annual Hunger Report.
Sara Millman trained as a demographer at the Universities of Washington (M.A.) and Michigan (Ph.D.). She worked with the World Hunger Program at Brown University for several years. Currently Dr. Millman teaches sociology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Table of Contents

Framework: Food shortage, food poverty, food deprivation1
Links between levels of hunger2
Why hunger matters5
Organization of the volume15
Works cited17
2Measuring hunger20
Input: Enough to eat?21
Output: Nutritional outcomes37
Relations among the hunger indicators47
Works cited49
3Food shortage53
Is there a world food shortage?54
Where are there regional food shortages?57
How common are country-level food shortages?59
Causes of shortage60
The relationship between drought and famine82
Ecological and political aspects of food shortage in the 1990s86
Works cited88
4Food poverty92
Causes of food poverty92
Kinds of data106
Case study: The importance of non-market entitlements120
Policy recommendations to reduce food poverty121
Summary and conclusions124
Works cited125
5Food deprivation131
Causes of deprivation131
Measurement of food deprivation133
Works cited160
6Conflict as a cause of hunger164
Food shortage related to conflict166
Food poverty related to conflict170
Distribution of conflict-related food poverty171
Food deprivation related to conflict172
The hunger costs of sanctions173
Underlying conditions173
Humanitarian and political principles and institutions limiting conflict-related hunger174
Measuring the "hunger" costs of conflict176
Works cited179
Patterns of risk181
Policy implications185
Works cited188

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