Material deprivation and food insecurity: perceived effects on mental health and well-being

Tipo de publicação: Capítulo de livro

Ramos, V., N. S. Pereira, 2018. “Material deprivation and food insecurity: perceived effects on mental health and well-being”. In Changing Societies: Legacies and Challenges. Vol. iii. The Diverse Worlds of Sustainability, eds. A. Delicado, N. Domingos and L. de Sousa. Lisbon: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais, 129-152.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization fao (1996), “food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy and active life”. Original conceptualizations, dating from food crises of the 1970s, linked food security with supply, availability, and price stability of foodstuffs at the national or regional scale. Further understandings, namely Sen’s (1982) work, showed that famines and food poverty were not necessarily the result of supply failures, but derived from distribution problems and specifically from a lack of entitlement to food within a given context. Over the last decades, debates about food security broadened what was originally a more restricted concept, centred on food supply, availability, and stability (Borch and Kjærnes 2016). Additionally, researchers have also considered food security as encompassing access to nutritionally balanced and socially acceptable food, aimed at achieving an active and healthy life (Truninger and Díaz-Méndez 2017). Current conceptualizations regard food security as an ideal situation on a continuum. On the other hand, food insecurity occurs when one or more of the aforementioned criteria are lacking. Thus, this phenomenon may differ according to its severity.