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Household food insecurity risk indices for English neighbourhoods: measures to support local policy decisions

Household food insecurity risk indices for English neighbourhoods: measures to support local policy decisions
Household food insecurity risk indices for English neighbourhoods: measures to support local policy decisions
Background: in England, the responsibility to address food insecurity lies with local government, yet the prevalence of this social inequality is unknown in small subnational areas. In 2018 an index of small-area household food insecurity risk was developed and utilised by public and third sector organisations to target interventions; this measure needed updating to better support decisions in different contexts.

Methods: we held interviews with stakeholders (n=11) and completed a scoping review to identify appropriate variables to create an updated risk measure. We then sourced a range of open access secondary data to develop an indices of food insecurity risk in English neighbourhoods. Following a process of data transformation and normalisation, we tested combinations of variables and identified the most appropriate data to reflect household food insecurity risk in urban and rural areas.

Results: eight variables, reflecting both household circumstances and local service availability, were separated into two domains with equal weighting for a new index, the Complex Index, and a subset of these make up the Simple Index. Within the Complex Index the Compositional Domain includes population characteristics while the Structural Domain reflects access to resources. The Compositional Domain is correlated well with free school meal eligibility (rs=0.705) and prevalence of childhood obesity (rs=0.641). This domain was the preferred measure for use in most areas when shared with stakeholders, and when assessed alongside other configurations of the variables. Areas of highest risk were most often located in the North of England.

Conclusion: we recommend the use of the Compositional Domain for all areas, with inclusion of the Structural Domain in rural areas where locational disadvantage makes it more difficult to access services. These measures can aid local policy makers and planners when allocating resources and interventions to support households who may experience food insecurity.
Smith, Dianna
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Rixson, Lauren
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Grove, Grace
aa73d66b-af26-4f94-afeb-04c89fe1debf
Ziauddeen, Nida
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Vassilev, Ivaylo
d76a5531-4ddc-4eb2-909b-a2a1068f05f3
Taheem, Ravita
d78c6ec2-9ff3-4f27-9ed3-9531daea2c83
Roderick, Paul
dbb3cd11-4c51-4844-982b-0eb30ad5085a
Alwan, Nisreen
0d37b320-f325-4ed3-ba51-0fe2866d5382
Smith, Dianna
e859097c-f9f5-4fd0-8b07-59218648e726
Rixson, Lauren
c306a951-6eda-489f-9f71-c920ea138024
Grove, Grace
aa73d66b-af26-4f94-afeb-04c89fe1debf
Ziauddeen, Nida
8b233a4a-9763-410b-90c7-df5c7d1a26e4
Vassilev, Ivaylo
d76a5531-4ddc-4eb2-909b-a2a1068f05f3
Taheem, Ravita
d78c6ec2-9ff3-4f27-9ed3-9531daea2c83
Roderick, Paul
dbb3cd11-4c51-4844-982b-0eb30ad5085a
Alwan, Nisreen
0d37b320-f325-4ed3-ba51-0fe2866d5382

Smith, Dianna, Rixson, Lauren, Grove, Grace, Ziauddeen, Nida, Vassilev, Ivaylo, Taheem, Ravita, Roderick, Paul and Alwan, Nisreen (2022) Household food insecurity risk indices for English neighbourhoods: measures to support local policy decisions. (doi:10.1101/2022.04.06.22273530).

Record type: Other

Abstract

Background: in England, the responsibility to address food insecurity lies with local government, yet the prevalence of this social inequality is unknown in small subnational areas. In 2018 an index of small-area household food insecurity risk was developed and utilised by public and third sector organisations to target interventions; this measure needed updating to better support decisions in different contexts.

Methods: we held interviews with stakeholders (n=11) and completed a scoping review to identify appropriate variables to create an updated risk measure. We then sourced a range of open access secondary data to develop an indices of food insecurity risk in English neighbourhoods. Following a process of data transformation and normalisation, we tested combinations of variables and identified the most appropriate data to reflect household food insecurity risk in urban and rural areas.

Results: eight variables, reflecting both household circumstances and local service availability, were separated into two domains with equal weighting for a new index, the Complex Index, and a subset of these make up the Simple Index. Within the Complex Index the Compositional Domain includes population characteristics while the Structural Domain reflects access to resources. The Compositional Domain is correlated well with free school meal eligibility (rs=0.705) and prevalence of childhood obesity (rs=0.641). This domain was the preferred measure for use in most areas when shared with stakeholders, and when assessed alongside other configurations of the variables. Areas of highest risk were most often located in the North of England.

Conclusion: we recommend the use of the Compositional Domain for all areas, with inclusion of the Structural Domain in rural areas where locational disadvantage makes it more difficult to access services. These measures can aid local policy makers and planners when allocating resources and interventions to support households who may experience food insecurity.

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Published date: 10 April 2022

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Local EPrints ID: 457031
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/457031
PURE UUID: 888e1901-9958-40af-8831-3780a0854809
ORCID for Dianna Smith: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0650-6606
ORCID for Grace Grove: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8323-5133
ORCID for Nida Ziauddeen: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8964-5029
ORCID for Ivaylo Vassilev: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-2206-8247
ORCID for Paul Roderick: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9475-6850
ORCID for Nisreen Alwan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4134-8463

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Date deposited: 19 May 2022 16:50
Last modified: 16 Nov 2022 02:56

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Contributors

Author: Dianna Smith ORCID iD
Author: Lauren Rixson
Author: Grace Grove ORCID iD
Author: Nida Ziauddeen ORCID iD
Author: Ivaylo Vassilev ORCID iD
Author: Ravita Taheem
Author: Paul Roderick ORCID iD
Author: Nisreen Alwan ORCID iD

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