Internal validity of a household food security scale is consistent among diverse populations participating in a food supplement program in Colombia

Hackett, Michelle; Melgar-Quinonez, Hugo; Uribe, Martha C Alvarez
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p175
Academic Journal
Objective: We assessed the validity of a locally adapted Colombian Household Food Security Scale (CHFSS) used as a part of the 2006 evaluation of the food supplement component of the Plan for Improving Food and Nutrition in Antioquia, Colombia (MANA - Plan Departamental de Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutricional de Antioquia). Methods: Subjects included low-income families with pre-school age children in MANA that responded affirmatively to at least one CHFSS item (n = 1,319). Rasch Modeling was used to evaluate the psychometric characteristics of the items through measure and INFIT values. Differences in CHFSS performance were assessed by area of residency, socioeconomic status and number of children enrolled in MANA. Unidimensionality of a scale by group was further assessed using Differential Item Functioning (DIF). Results: Most CHFSS items presented good fitness with most INFIT values within the adequate range of 0.8 to 1.2. Consistency in item measure values between groups was found for all but two items in the comparison by area of residency. Only two adult items exhibited DIF between urban and rural households. Conclusion: The results indicate that the adapted CHFSS is a valid tool to assess the household food security of participants in food assistance programs like MANA.


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