Prevalence of household food insecurity and associated factors among Bolsa Família Program families with preschool children in Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, Brazil** This article was the result of the master's thesis"(In)segurança alimentar e estado nutricional entre beneficiários do Programa Bolsa Família no município de Viçosa, MG," presented in 2011 to the Graduate Program in Nutrition Science of the Federal Universityof Viçosa. The research was funded by resources from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico/Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development/Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation - CNPq/MCTI), and Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome (Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger - MDS): Process No.036/2010.

Naiara Sperandio Silvia Eloiza Priore About the authors

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

to investigate food insecurity prevalence and associated factors among Bolsa Família Program (BFP) beneficiary families in the municipality of Viçosa-MG, Brazil.

METHODS:

this was a cross-sectional study using a structured questionnaire and the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale; prevalence ratio (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI) were calculated using Poisson regression.

RESULTS:

243 families were evaluated; food insecurity prevalence was 72.8% (being 47.3% mild; 10.7% moderate, 14.8% severe); higher prevalence of food insecurity was observed in households with mothers having lower schooling (PR 1.56; 95%CI: 1.21; 2.68) and belonging to social-economic stratum E (PR 1.82; 95%CI: 1.16; 3.48); following multiple regression analysis, food insecurity remained associated with low maternal education (PR 1.86; 95%CI: 1.52; 2.83).

CONCLUSION:

the high prevalence of food insecurity, associated with low maternal education, justifies the need for targeted government intervention, such as the Bolsa Família Program, associated with structuring actions, particularly in education.

Food and Nutrition Security; Demographic Indicators; Cross-Sectional Studies; Public Policies; Preschool Children


Introduction

Food and nutrition security (FNS) has become an important topic in Brazilian politics.11. Brasil. Lei no 11.346, de 15 de setembro de 2006. Cria o Sistema Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional - SISAN com vistas em assegurar o direito humano à alimentação adequada e dá outras providências. Diário Oficial da República Federativa do Brasil, Brasília (DF), 2006 set. 18; Seção 1:1.,22. Corrêa AMS. Insegurança Alimentar medida a partir da percepção das pessoas. Estud Av. 2007 maio-ago;21(60):143-54. It is a complex concept, which is still being built. FNS was defined in Brazil´s Federal Law on Food and Nutrition Security (LOSAN):

[...] Food and Nutrition security is the right to regular and permanent access to quality food in terms of nutrition and quantity, without compromising the access to other essential necessities based on the nutritional practices that actually promote health and respect cultural diversity. They should also be environmentally, economic and socially sustainable.11. Brasil. Lei no 11.346, de 15 de setembro de 2006. Cria o Sistema Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional - SISAN com vistas em assegurar o direito humano à alimentação adequada e dá outras providências. Diário Oficial da República Federativa do Brasil, Brasília (DF), 2006 set. 18; Seção 1:1.

Poverty and social inequalities are the main causes of food insecurity (FI). In order to develop public policies and promote health, it is important to evaluate FI's associated factors. Thus, it is necessary to know indicators that can evaluate and monitor food insecurity. This is, however, a difficult task, given that no indicator alone can measure FNS in its multiple dimensions.33. Sícoli JL. Pactuando conceitos fundamentais para construção de um sistema de monitoramento da SAN [Internet]. São Paulo: Instituto Pólis; 2014 [citado 2014 dez 15]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.polis.org.br/uploads/740/740.pdf
http://www.polis.org.br/uploads/740/740....

4. Pinheiro ARO. Reflexões sobre processo histórico/político de construção da Lei Orgânica de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional. Rev Segur Aliment Nutr. 2008;15(2):1-15.
-55. Batista Filho M. Da fome a segurança alimentar: retrospecto e visão prospectiva. Cad Saude Publica. 2003 jul-ago; 19(4):872-3.

Many countries have been using the hunger scale proposed by Radimeret al66. Radimer KL, Olson CM, Greene JC, Campbell CC, Habicht J-P. Understanding hunger and developing indicators to asses it in women and children. J Nutr Educ Behav. 1992 Jan-Feb;24 Suppl 1;36S-44. to measure FI. Brazilian researchers started the scale's validation process in 2004.77. Kepple AW, Segall-Corrêa AM. Conceituando e medindo segurança alimentar e nutricional. Cienc Saude Coletiva. 2011 jan;16(1):187-99. The study was coordinated by the State University of Campinas (Unicamp).88. Pérez-Escamilla R, Segall-Corrêa AM. Food insecurity measurement and indicators. Rev Nutr. 2008 Jul-Aug; 21 Supp:15-26. The resulting instrument, called Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale (EBIA), makes it possible to evaluate FI as well as monitor the implementation and evaluation of public policies in this given area.99. Pérez-Escamilla R. Experiência internacional com a escala de percepção de insegurança alimentar [Internet]. Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome; 2005 [citado 2014 nov 15]. p. 14-27. (Cadernos de estudos. Desenvolvimento social em debate; no. 2). Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.mds.gov.br/gestaodainformacao/disseminacao/cadernos-de-estudos/2005/no-2-subnutricao-e-obesidade-em-paises-em-desenvolvimento.-experiencia-internacional-com-a-escala-de-percepcao-da-inseguranca-alimentar/arquivos/caderno%202.pdf/download
http://www.mds.gov.br/gestaodainformacao...

In Brazil, social inequality is relevant. Consequently, a substantial share of the population cannot keep a minimal, socially accepted standard of life.1010. Batista Filho M. O Brasil e a segurança alimentar. Rev Bras Saude Matern Infant. 2000 abr-jun;7(2):121-2. The Brazilian government seeks to change this scenario through action programs that aim to fulfill constitutionally-guaranteed social rights. A notable example is the Bolsa Familia Program (BFP),1111. Barros RP, Henriques R, Medonça R. Desigualdade e pobreza no Brasil: retrato de uma estabilidade inaceitável. Rev Bras Cienc Soc. 2000 fev;15(42):123-42.,1212. Burlandy L. Transferência condicionada de renda e segurança alimentar e nutricional. Cienc Saude Coletiva. 2007 nov-dez; 12(6):1441-51. a governmental strategy to fight the country's hunger and poverty through conditional cash transfers. One of Bolsa Família's primary goals is to promote the social inclusion of vulnerable families, as well as improve the nutrition of their children.1212. Burlandy L. Transferência condicionada de renda e segurança alimentar e nutricional. Cienc Saude Coletiva. 2007 nov-dez; 12(6):1441-51.

Children are the most vulnerable to food insecurity group, which can jeopardize their growth and development. Evaluating the prevalence of food insecurity and its associated factors, therefore, is of particular importance to the development, implementation, and monitoring of more focused, efficient public policies.1212. Burlandy L. Transferência condicionada de renda e segurança alimentar e nutricional. Cienc Saude Coletiva. 2007 nov-dez; 12(6):1441-51.,1313. PNUD: Bolsa Família diminui desigualdade de renda. Estadão. 2008 [citado 2014 dez 18]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.pnud.org.br/Noticia.aspx?id=1813
http://www.pnud.org.br/Noticia.aspx?id=1...

The objective of this study was to investigate household food insecurity prevalence and associated factors among Bolsa Família Program beneficiary families with preschool children in Viçosa, Minas Gerais State (MG), Brazil.

Methods

This is a cross-sectional study that evaluated BFP beneficiary families with children between 2 and 6 years old, residing in the urban area of Viçosa-MG. The choice of families with children in that age group is due to the fact that they are a biologically vulnerable group, and thus, the most susceptible to the consequences of food insecurity. The data were collected between January and June 2011.

Viçosa-MG is located in the Zona da Mata, between the Serras da Mantiqueira, do Caparaó and da Piedade. According to the last demographic census, carried out in 2010 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Viçosa had an estimated population of 72,220 people, of whom 67,305 (93.2%) lived in the urban area. In that same year, Viçosa's human development index (HDI) was 0.775.1414. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Dados estatísticos provenientes do censo demográfico. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2010.

For the sample calculation, an 80.3% prevalence of FI in the Southeast Region of the country was considered, based on the results of the study "Repercussion of the Bolsa Família Program on Food and Nutrition Security of the Benefitted Families", sponsored by the federal agency Financing Agency for Studies and Projects (Finep).1515. Instituto Brasileiro de Análises Sociais e Econômicas. Repercussões do Programa Bolsa Família na segurança alimentar e nutricional das famílias beneficiadas (2007-2008): documento síntese, jun 2008 [Inertnet]. Rio de Janeiro: Ibase; 2008 [citado 2015 jan 15]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.ibase.br/userimages/ibase_bf_sintese_site.pdf
http://www.ibase.br/userimages/ibase_bf_...
That was the first population-based survey to evaluate how BFP benefitted families perceived food security in their lives. A maximum five percentage points error was estimated, for a 95% confidence level, plus 20% to control confounding factors, resulting in a minimum sample size of 243 families. Epi Info's StatCalc version 6.04 was used for the calculation.

At first, the local welfare agency was contacted for data on the number of BFP beneficiary families who fit the criteria. The agency provided a database with the card-holders' name, sex and ethnicity, as well as their address and number of dependent children.

Of the 1,160 families with children between 2 and 6 years old who lived in the urban area of Viçosa-MG, 243 were randomly selected. All data were collected at the families' households. Three nutritionists and two Nutrition undergrads from the Federal University of Viçosa (UFV) conducted this survey. The research team was trained beforehand in the use of standardized language and equipment calibration.

The criteria used to include families in the sample were: (i) be a BFP beneficiary and (ii) have a child in the studied age group. In order to participate in the study, the household responsible signed a Term of Consent. Not signing the Term was an exclusion criterion. Moreover, families who were not found at home after three meeting attempts, no longer received the benefit, or had moved away from Viçosa were also excluded from the study.

In order to obtain data on socioeconomic and demographic variables, the household responsible answered the structured questionnaire below:

  1. - public water supply (yes, no);

  2. - waste collection (yes, no);

  3. - public sewage system (yes, no);

  4. - water filter at home (yes, no);

  5. - number of residents (up to 3; 4-5; 6 or more);

  6. - parents' education level (none, 4-7, 8 or more years in school);

  7. - skin color of the benefit card-holder (standardized and determined by the interviewers to be one of three: white, brown or black); and

  8. - social-economic stratum (A; B; C; D; E), following the criteria established by the Brazilian Association of Research Companies - ABEP).1616. Associação Brasileira de Empresas de Pesquisa. Critério de classificação econômica Brasil [Internet]. São Paulo: ABEP; 2008 [citado 2015 jan 21]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.abep.org/Servicos/Download.aspx?id=07
    http://www.abep.org/Servicos/Download.as...

EBIA, which was composed by 15 Yes/No questions, was used to diagnose food insecurity. The families were classified as food secure or (mildly, moderately, or severely) insecure according to EBIA's criteria.1717. Segall-Corrêa AM, Marin-Léon L, Sampaio MFA, Panigassi G, Pérez-Escamilla R. Insegurança alimentar no Brasil: do desenvolvimento dos instrumentos de medida aos primeiros resultados nacionais. Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social; 2007. Under that scale, each household is classified by the number of positive answers to those questions. The four categories are defined as follows:

  1. - food security, when there is no food restriction of any kind, not even the fear of, or concern over, lacking food in the future;

  2. - mild food insecurity, when there is the fear of lacking access to food and the quality of the diet is compromised as a way to avoid lacking food;

  3. - moderate food insecurity, when not only the quality but also the quantity of food is restricted, the latter only affecting the adults in the household; and

  4. - severe food insecurity, when the amount of food is restricted both for adults and children; in this situation, the family's eating habits change and starvation becomes very likely.1818. Universidade Estadual de Campinas. Faculdade de Ciências Médicas. Departamento De Medicina Preventiva e Social. Relatório técnico: versão preliminar: acompanhamento e avaliação da segurança alimentar de famílias brasileiras: validação de metodologia e de instrumento de coleta de informação: urbano/rural [Internet]. Campinas: Unicamp; 2004 [citado 2014 nov 22]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://189.28.128.100/nutricao/docs/geral/validacao_rural_urbano.pdf
    http://189.28.128.100/nutricao/docs/gera...

In keeping with EBIA's criteria, in this study, families with children under 18 years old were classified as food secure when all answers to the questionnaire were negative. Families who answered Yes to 1-5 questions were classified as mildly food insecure; those who gave 6-10 Yes answers were classified as moderately insecure; and those who answered Yes to 11-15 were classified as severely food insecure.1717. Segall-Corrêa AM, Marin-Léon L, Sampaio MFA, Panigassi G, Pérez-Escamilla R. Insegurança alimentar no Brasil: do desenvolvimento dos instrumentos de medida aos primeiros resultados nacionais. Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social; 2007.

The database was organized and cross-checked in a digital spread-sheet.The Validate function of Epi Info version 6.04 was used to cross-check the data. All estimates were calculated taking the design effect of the sample into consideration. The data analysis software Stata version 9.01919. Stata Corp. Stata software release 9.0. College Station: STATA Corp; 2011. was used in all stages of data analysis.

In the descriptive analysis, the data are presented as absolute values, proportions and their respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). In the bivariate analysis, Pearson's Chi-square test and the Chi-square test for linear trend were used to verify the association between food insecurity and socioeconomic and demographic indicators. This variable was dichotomized into the presence of food insecurity (in any degree), and the absence of food insecurity. For the bivariate analysis, the variable parents' education level was dichotomized into fewer than 7 or more than 7 years of formal education.

The variables that were associated with FI at a significance level less than or equal to 20% were selected to be part of the multiple model. For the multiple model, Poisson's regression was used to calculate the prevalence ratios (PR) and their respective 95% confidence intervals (95%CI).2020. Cohen J. Alternative regression models: logistic, Poisson regression and the generalized linear model. In: Cohen J, Cohen P, West SG, Aiken LS. editors. Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences. 3th ed. Mahwah: Lawrance Erlbaum; 2003. p. 479-535. In the present study, the choice of prevalence ratios as the measure of association is justified by the cross-sectional design and the prevalence of food insecurity found. The backward method was used to build the multiple regression model. In this method, the variables selected in the bivariate analysis were simultaneously added to the model, and then eliminated one at a time, the least significant according to the Wald test.

The research was authorized by the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Viçosa: Process No. 0146/2010.

Results

243 families participated in the study. Of the randomly selected households, 52 did not meet the inclusion/exclusion criteria: households that no longer received the benefit (n=17); no family members were found after three meeting attempts (n=10); and families who had moved away (n=25). The application of EBIA revealed a 72.8% prevalence of food insecurity, divided into: mild insecurity, 47.3%; moderate insecurity, 10.7%; and severe insecurity, 14.8% (Table 1).

Table 1
Characterization of Bolsa Família Program beneficiary families (n=243) according to their food security situation, and the socioeconomic and demographic conditions in the municipality of Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, 2011

As for sanitation, 98.3% of the families had access to the public water supply system and the public sewage system. 91.0% had water filters for individual consumption. Most of the mothers (86.5%; 95%CI 80.2; 91.6) and fathers (88.6%; 95%CI 79.2; 89.4) had 4 to 7 years of schooling; 94.3% of the families belonged to the C and D social-economic strata; 80.2% of the households had up to five residents; and the predominant skin color of benefit card-holders was black (42.3%; 95%CI36.1; 48.5) (Table 1).

An association between maternal education and food insecurity was found. Among mothers with fewer than 7 years of schooling, food insecurity was almost 1.4 times higher than among those with over 7 years of formal education (Table 2).

Table 2
Prevalence of food security and insecurity a in Bolsa Família Program beneficiary families (n=243) according to the socioeconomic and demographic conditions in the municipality of Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, 2011

The highest prevalence of food insecurity was found among families that belong to the D and E socio-economic strata, and in households with more than five residents. The prevalence of food insecurity in class E families was three times higher than in class B families (Table 2).

Sanitation conditions did not appear to be associated to food insecurity. Since the results of the sanitation indicators were homogeneous, they could not be used to distinguish FI among the studied families. Likewise, there was no association between skin color and fathers' education with food insecurity. However, the presence of a water filter at home was, indeed, associated with food insecurity (Table 2).

After adjustments for reference or contrast variables (maternal education over 7 years of schooling; belonging to socio-economic stratum B; no more than five residents in the household) with the other categories in the multivariate analysis, only maternal education (PR 1.86; 95%CI 1.52;2.83; p=0.02) remained associated with food insecurity (Table 3).

Table 3
Association between food insecurity and sociodemographic variables of Bolsa Família Program families (n=243) in the municipality of Viçosa, Minas Gerais State, 2011

Discussion

This study found a high prevalence of food insecurity (72.8%) among Bolsa Família Program beneficiary families with preschool children. These results confirm the social vulnerability of those families and the risk of possible harm to the growth and development of their children due to lack of access to adequate food.

Food insecurity was associated with low maternal education. Low education levels make it harder to enter the formal job market, which implies access to low-paying jobs. Such a situation contributes to the occurrence of food insecurity. In an effort to increase the level of education of children and adolescents, school attendance is one of the conditions imposed by BFP. Low education levels is one of the main causes of the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and keeping children in school can help break it.

EBIA was considered by IBGE to be an important tool in the diagnosis of food insecurity, as well as the different levels of insecurity.2121. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Notícias: IBGE traça perfil inédito sobre a Segurança Alimentar no Brasil [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2006 [citado 2015 jan 03]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://censo2010.ibge.gov.br/noticias?view=noticia&id=1&idnoticia=600&busca=1&t=ibge-traca-perfil-inedito-sobre-seguranca-alimentar-brasil
http://censo2010.ibge.gov.br/noticias?vi...
Moreover, as a tool capable of (i) identifying the population groups most vulnerable to violations of the human right to adequate food and (ii) highlighting social inequalities, this scale fulfills the provisions set by art. 21, paragraph 6 of the Decree No. 7272 dated 25 August, 2010.2121. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Notícias: IBGE traça perfil inédito sobre a Segurança Alimentar no Brasil [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2006 [citado 2015 jan 03]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://censo2010.ibge.gov.br/noticias?view=noticia&id=1&idnoticia=600&busca=1&t=ibge-traca-perfil-inedito-sobre-seguranca-alimentar-brasil
http://censo2010.ibge.gov.br/noticias?vi...
,2222. Brasil. Decreto n 7.272 de 25 de agosto de 2010. Regulamenta a Lei nº 11.346, de 15 de setembro de 2006, que cria o Sistema Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional - SISAN com vistas a assegurar o direito humano à alimentação adequada, institui a Política Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional - PNSAN, estabelece os parâmetros para a elaboração do Plano Nacional de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional, e dá outras providências. Diário Oficial da República Federativa do Brasil, Brasília (DF), 2010 ago 26; Seção 1:1.

The EBIA was used to measure food insecurity in Brazilian households in the 2004, 2009 and 2013 versions of the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) conducted by IBGE. The results from those surveys confirm: food insecurity is directly associated to socioeconomic factors such as number of household residents, sex, schooling or skin color of the head of the family, family income, among others.2323. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2004 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2005 [citado 2014 dez 20]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/trabalhoerendimento/pnad2004/suplalimentar2004/supl_alimentar2004.pdf
http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/...

24. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2004-2009 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2010 [citado 2014 nov 21]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/seguranca_alimentar_2004_2009/pnadalimentar.pdf
http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/...
-2525. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2013 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2014 [citado 2015 jan 12]. Disponível em: Disponível em: ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimentar_2013/pnad2013_seguranca_alimentar.pdf
ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimenta...

The prevalence of FI in Brazil has reduced from 34.9% in 2004 to 22.6% in 2013.2323. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2004 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2005 [citado 2014 dez 20]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/trabalhoerendimento/pnad2004/suplalimentar2004/supl_alimentar2004.pdf
http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/...

24. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2004-2009 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2010 [citado 2014 nov 21]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/seguranca_alimentar_2004_2009/pnadalimentar.pdf
http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/...
-2525. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2013 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2014 [citado 2015 jan 12]. Disponível em: Disponível em: ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimentar_2013/pnad2013_seguranca_alimentar.pdf
ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimenta...
Despite that, approximately 52 million Brazilians still suffered from food insecurity in 2013.2525. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2013 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2014 [citado 2015 jan 12]. Disponível em: Disponível em: ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimentar_2013/pnad2013_seguranca_alimentar.pdf
ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimenta...

Education is still considered to be a main cause of food insecurity. According to PNAD, in households whose person of reference had no schooling or less than a year of formal education, the prevalence of moderate or severe FI was 29.2%. On the other hand, in households whose person of reference had 11 to 14 years of formal education, that percentage was 4.1 times lower (7.1%).23In 2009, there was a reduction of food insecurity prevalence regardless of education level, and, although the association remains, the proportion ratio for the aforementioned education levels was reduced to 3.4.2424. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2004-2009 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2010 [citado 2014 nov 21]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/seguranca_alimentar_2004_2009/pnadalimentar.pdf
http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/...

The National Survey on Demography and Health of Women and Children(PNDS/2006), which also used EBIA to diagnose food insecurity, concluded that of all sociodemographic characteristics of the reference person associated to FI (be female, less educated and younger than 60 years), education was responsible for the greatest differences in that prevalence. Those referred to as "no schooling" had a prevalence of severe food insecurity of 10.7%. That percentage was reduced to 1.6% in households whose person of reference had nine or more years of formal education.2626. Ministério da Saúde (BR). Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento. Pesquisa nacional de demografia e saúde da criança e da mulher: PNDS 2006: dimensões do processo reprodutivo e da saúde da criança [Internet]. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2006 [citado 2014 out 12]. (Série G. Estatística e informação em saúde). Disponível em: Disponível em: http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoes/pnds_crianca_mulher.pdf
http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoe...

It is worth noting that both PNAD and PNDS did not limit their samples to BFP beneficiaries. The Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (Ibase) studied the food security situation of Bolsa Família beneficiaries in 2007-2008. Our study found a higher prevalence of food insecurity (72.8%) when compared to the aforementioned studies (PNAD, 22.6%; PNDS 37.5%), but is close to the results presented by Ibase (83%). This is justified by the fact that BFP beneficiaries are already vulnerable, which predisposes them to a situation of food insecurity.1717. Segall-Corrêa AM, Marin-Léon L, Sampaio MFA, Panigassi G, Pérez-Escamilla R. Insegurança alimentar no Brasil: do desenvolvimento dos instrumentos de medida aos primeiros resultados nacionais. Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social; 2007.,2525. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2013 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2014 [citado 2015 jan 12]. Disponível em: Disponível em: ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimentar_2013/pnad2013_seguranca_alimentar.pdf
ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimenta...
,2626. Ministério da Saúde (BR). Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento. Pesquisa nacional de demografia e saúde da criança e da mulher: PNDS 2006: dimensões do processo reprodutivo e da saúde da criança [Internet]. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2006 [citado 2014 out 12]. (Série G. Estatística e informação em saúde). Disponível em: Disponível em: http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoes/pnds_crianca_mulher.pdf
http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoe...

According to Ibase's study, the prevalence of food insecurity was higher in the Northeast Region of the country, which both PNAD and PNDS confirm. In the Southeast Region, the prevalence of food insecurity was 80%. Thus, the prevalence of food insecurity among BFP families in Viçosa-MG was lower than that of the Southeast and of Brazil.1717. Segall-Corrêa AM, Marin-Léon L, Sampaio MFA, Panigassi G, Pérez-Escamilla R. Insegurança alimentar no Brasil: do desenvolvimento dos instrumentos de medida aos primeiros resultados nacionais. Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social; 2007.

Regarding socio-economic characteristics, the results are similar to those of previous studies. FI was more prevalent among families with an income lower than R$60.00 per capita (less than 1/4 of the minimum wage at the time), whose benefit card-holder had black or brown skin color and had no schooling. The association between food security and the education level of the benefit card-holder was most significant in the South Region. There, the prevalence of severe FI was lower, even among those who could only write a simple note (10.7%), whereas in the North and Northeast Regions, FI prevalences for that group were, respectively, 21.52% and 22.19%.1717. Segall-Corrêa AM, Marin-Léon L, Sampaio MFA, Panigassi G, Pérez-Escamilla R. Insegurança alimentar no Brasil: do desenvolvimento dos instrumentos de medida aos primeiros resultados nacionais. Brasília: Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social; 2007.

The nationwide studies2323. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2004 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2005 [citado 2014 dez 20]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/trabalhoerendimento/pnad2004/suplalimentar2004/supl_alimentar2004.pdf
http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/...

24. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2004-2009 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2010 [citado 2014 nov 21]. Disponível em: Disponível em: http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/populacao/seguranca_alimentar_2004_2009/pnadalimentar.pdf
http://www.ibge.gov.br/home/estatistica/...

25. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Diretoria de Pesquisas. Coordenação de Trabalho e Rendimento. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios: segurança alimentar 2013 [Internet]. Rio de janeiro: IBGE; 2014 [citado 2015 jan 12]. Disponível em: Disponível em: ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimentar_2013/pnad2013_seguranca_alimentar.pdf
ftp://ftp.ibge.gov.br/seguranca_alimenta...
-2626. Ministério da Saúde (BR). Centro Brasileiro de Análise e Planejamento. Pesquisa nacional de demografia e saúde da criança e da mulher: PNDS 2006: dimensões do processo reprodutivo e da saúde da criança [Internet]. Brasília: Ministério da Saúde; 2006 [citado 2014 out 12]. (Série G. Estatística e informação em saúde). Disponível em: Disponível em: http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoes/pnds_crianca_mulher.pdf
http://bvsms.saude.gov.br/bvs/publicacoe...
that sought to evaluate factors possibly associated with food insecurity found similar results for the socio-economic indicators despite not having limited their samples to BFP beneficiaries. That similarity can also be found in regional studies.

For instance, Salles-Costa et al2727. Salles-Costa R, Pereira RA, Vasconcellos MTL, Veiga GV, Marins VMR, Jardim BC, et al. Associação entre fatores socioeconômicos e insegurança alimentar: estudo de base populacional na região metropolitana do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. Rev Nutr. 2008 jul-ago;21 Supl:S99-S109. found a 53.8% prevalence of food insecurity when analyzing the association of socioeconomic factors and food insecurity among families in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro State. The variables associated to insecurity were: monthly household income per capita, education level of the head of the family, socioeconomic stratum, number of household residents and the presence of a water filter at home. Pimentel et al,2828. Pimentel PG, Sichieri R, Salles-Costa R. Insegurança Alimentar, condições socioeconômicas e indicadores antropométricos em crianças da região metropolitana do Rio de Janeiro/Brasil. Rev Bras Estud Pop. 2009 jul-dez;26(2):283-94. in a study conducted with 402 families with children younger than 30 months, found a food insecurity prevalence of 72%. The variables "monthly household income per capita" and "education level of the head of the family" were inversely associated with levels of food insecurity.

Gubert and Santos2929. Gubert MB, Santos LMP. Determinantes da insegurança alimentar no Distrito Federal. Comun Cienc Saude. 2009 abr-jun;20(2):143-50. found a prevalence of food insecurity of 24.8% in households of the Federal District, associated to the following factors: the person of reference was female, had black or brown skin color, had more than three children and had an income lower than 1/4 of the minimum wage.

According to Panigassi et al3030. Panigassi G, Segall-Corrêa AM, Marin-Léon L, Pérez-Escamilla R, Sampaio MFA, Maranha LK. Insegurança alimentar como indicador de iniquidade: análise de inquérito populacional. Cad Saude Publica. 2008 out;24(10):2376-84. in a study conducted in Campinas, São Paulo State, the most important characteristic of the head of the family associated with food insecurity was education level. Heads of the family with less than 8 years of formal education were 4.6 times more likely to suffer from mild FI and 8.4 times more likely to suffer from moderate and severe FI. Those studies show the relevance of education and its impact on food insecurity.

One of the conditions to receive BFP's benefits it to keep the children in school. It is an essential factor for the adequate cognitive development and an investment on human capital. As already discussed herein, education is main cause of food insecurity. Therefore, increasing the education level of poor children can help break the intergenerational cycle of poverty and promote food and nutrition security (FNS).

The results from this research highlight the magnitude of food insecurity according to the socioeconomic and demographic factors of the studied population. Knowing which factors are associated with food insecurity makes it possible to define priorities in minimizing and controlling this problem. The EBIA can assist policy makers in monitoring food insecurity and identifying potential groups in need of resources, besides being an important tool for evaluating and monitoring intervention measures.

It is the State's social responsibility to guarantee food and nutrition security. Social programs, such as Bolsa Família, have a major role in improving the quality of life of beneficiary families. Nevertheless, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of governmental investments on education, sanitation and health, among other responsibilities of the State, so that public policies cease to be compensatory, narrow in scope, and isolated.

The limitations of the study were the difficulty of carrying out home visits and the lack of up-to-date information of BFP beneficiary families. Many families were not found because they had moved away or no longer received the benefit. Such updates were not in the local welfare agency's records. The use of the Brazilian Food Insecurity Scale (EBIA) required prior training and careful implementation to avoid response biases. The design of this study did not make it possible to establish any cause-effect relationships between the researched variables and food insecurity. However, those findings make clear the importance of state intervention in the protection and fulfillment of constitutional social rights such as health and education. In this sense, compliance with the conditions is a form of emancipation and empowerment of Bolsa Familia Program beneficiaries.

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  • *
    This article was the result of the master's thesis"(In)segurança alimentar e estado nutricional entre beneficiários do Programa Bolsa Família no município de Viçosa, MG," presented in 2011 to the Graduate Program in Nutrition Science of the Federal Universityof Viçosa. The research was funded by resources from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico/Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação (National Council for Scientific and Technological Development/Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation - CNPq/MCTI), and Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome (Ministry of Social Development and Fight Against Hunger - MDS): Process No.036/2010.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    Oct-Dec 2015

History

  • Received
    06 Jan 2015
  • Accepted
    22 June 2015
Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde - Ministério da Saúde do Brasil Brasília - Distrito Federal - Brazil
E-mail: leilapgarcia@gmail.com