Validation of the Food Security Module in the 2018 Longitudinal and International Study of Adults

Release date: November 2, 2020

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Executive Summary

Background: The Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) is a socio-economic longitudinal survey conducted every two years covering subjects ranging from labour market activity to retirement. Food security was added in Wave 4 of the LISA and comprise four derived variables: Adult Scale, Child Scale, Household Scale, and Modified Household Scale (including marginally food insecure).

Objective: This technical report is intended to validate the LISA Food Security (FSC) module and provide recommendations for analytical use.

Key Findings: The food security derived variables may be used to study person-level or household-level populations. There are three distinct food security measures: adult food security, household food security and child food security. The recommended survey and bootstrap weights to use for the adult food security measure are the all waves responding person weights (AWRPW) and bootstrap weights; wave-t enumerated person weights (EPW) and bootstrap weights are for the household food security measure and the child food security. The adult food security measure may be used to study the adult LISA population (individuals 18 years of age and older or individuals 16 or 17 years of age who live alone). This measure also has an additional requirement – the data user must assign all adult household members the food security status of the person most knowledgeable (PMK). The PMK is the sole-respondent of the FSC module and so for adult-level analysis, one must assume that all adult members experience the same food security status as the PMK. Without this step, the sample would only consist of the PMK respondent, not representative of the adult population and so will lead to incorrect statistical analyses. Since the PMK also provides answers on behalf of the household, these responses are representative of the household food security status and therefore may be used for household-level food security analysis.

The household food security measure may be used to study the LISA population of households and the child food security measure may be used to study LISA population of households with children. Households with children include households of adults and children ages 0 to 15, and households with individuals 16 or 17 years of age who are living with an adult relative. The household food security, modified household food security and child food security measures should use the enumerated person weights (EPW) and bootstrap weights in order to produce reliable statistical analyses. The first step to the household-level analyses is to generate household-level weights. This is done by taking the average of the person-level enumerated weights for all persons living in the household and then assigning these average weights to the respective households to represent the household-level weights. This same step will need to be applied to the bootstrap weights.

In spite of the fact that LISA is a longitudinal survey with a reference population at 2012, the reported incidences of LISA household food insecurity in 2018 are quite comparable to those of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS).

Recommendations: Before performing any statistical analyses with the LISA food security data, the data user must follow the methodological guidelines provided. First, the user must identify the population of interest and the food security measure that may be required to study the identified population. Second, the user must select the appropriate LISA survey weights and bootstrap weights for the analyses of interest as indicated in the Key Findings above. For longitudinal studies, the recommended weights are the all waves responding person weights (AWRPW) and for contemporary cross-sectional analyses, the recommended weights are the enumerated person weights (EPW). Once these checks are completed, one can conduct valid estimates with the LISA FSC module.

1. Introduction

This technical report is intended to validate the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) Wave 4 (2018) Food Security (FSC) module and provide recommendations for analytical use. Section 2 of this report provides an overview of the LISA data. Section 3 provides some background information of food security measures in national surveys and why it is significant in today’s literature. Section 4 analyzes FSC data by presenting key descriptive statistics and logic checks using LISA methodology as well as outside researcher information. In section 5, certification validation was done by comparing other Canadian national surveys that have used a FSC module to the one used by LISA. Finally in section 6, key findings and their implications with regard to LISA are outlined.

2. Data source

The Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) began in 2011/2012 and was designed to gather information every two years on core topicsNote , feature topicsNote , and rotating contentNote . Sponsored by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), LISA interviewed 32,133 Canadian men, women and children in its initial wave (2012). The original sampleNote  was selected from a population frame based on the 2011 Canadian Census. This sample will grow over time to include descendants of the original sample members. For longitudinal studies using the LISA data, this “base year” will represent the Canadian population in 2012. For cross-sectional studies at any subsequent wave using the LISA data, the population at that wave will represent the “base year” population plus the population of the descendants. For instance, the LISA Wave 4 (2018) cross-sectional population is not representative of the 2018 Canadian population, but the 2012 Canadian population plus their descendants since 2012. This means that the LISA cross-sectional population in 2018Note  excludes a population such as new immigrants to Canada since 2012.

For each wave, LISA produces four products accompanying the survey data; (i) four survey weights; (ii) four sets of 1000 bootstrap weights; (iii) four administrative datasets; and (iv) a set of intergenerational filesNote . The survey weights and bootstrap weights are essential to produce reliable estimates for two distinct types of studies namely longitudinal studies and LISA-defined cross-sectional-type studies. The respective weights for these studies are (i) the all waves weights; and (ii) the wave-t weights. The two LISA all waves weights are: all waves responding person weights and the all waves ISA (PIAAC) responding person weights. The two LISA wave-t weights are the enumerated person weights and the responding person weights (Benhin, 2018). Administrative data is amalgamated to further enhance the analytical depth of LISA and includes the T1 Family File (T1FF), Statement of Remuneration Paid (T4 tax slip), Pension plans in Canada (PPIC), and Longitudinal Immigration Database (IMDB). Four waves of LISA data have been released, most recently Wave 4 (2018). Using these LISA datasets, and an appropriate research design, data users can identify causality, analyze gross change, and measure time-related characteristics of socioeconomic circumstances; these are some of the major benefits unique to a longitudinal survey. Since its inception as a survey program, LISA has served as an important tool for researchers, policy makers, and government departments.

3. Food Security Overview

3.1. Background of Food Security in Canada

The first use of a food security questionnaire module in a Canadian national survey was in the 1998/1999 National Population Health Survey (NPHS)Note  sponsored by Human Resources Development Canada. However, the earlier use of food security-related questions can be traced back to the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and YouthNote  in 1994/1995 where questions were asked about experiences and coping mechanisms of individuals on how to deal with hunger as a result of financial constraints. In 2001, Health Canada commissioned a discussion paper on Household and Individual Food InsecurityNote , which led to the implementation of the Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM)Note  in the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004). HFSSM serves as a general baseline structureNote  of food security modules that are adapted by other Canadian national surveys, including the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA).

At the time of this report, the food security module or versions of it have been implemented in a number of Statistics Canada surveys, including: (1) Canadian Community Health Survey - Annual (2000Note , 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2017, and 2018), (2) Canadian Community Health Survey - Nutrition (2004 and 2015), (3) Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth (2019), (4) Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007-2009, 2009-2011, and 2014-2015), (5) Aboriginal Peoples Survey (2012), (6) Survey of Household Spending (2010 cycle) and (7) The Longitudinal and International Study of Adults 2018 (Wave 4).

The HFSSM, implemented in the CCHS Cycle 2.2 in 2014, consisted of an 18-question module (Health Canada, 2007). These questions were about the household food security situation over the previous 12 months. This 18-question module is a variation of the food security measurement developed in the United States for their annual household food security in 1995. The goal of the HFSSM was to identify households with deficient or uncertain access to food due to constraints on financial resources which may undermine eating habits. The CCHS version of the HFSSM was adopted by LISA and is simply referred to as Food Security (see Appendix A for LISA FSC module).

3.2. The need for Food Security as part of LISA

Food security is classified as one of the 12 Dimensions of Poverty, one of many actions in Canada’s Poverty Reduction Strategy to monitor progress on poverty reduction for Canadians and their households (Statistics Canada, 2019; Employment and Social Development Canada, 2018). The Poverty Reduction Strategy is one response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was ratified by Canada and all other United Nations Member States in 2015 (Employment and Social Development Canada, 2018). The Sustainable Development framework has 17 goals, one of which is to end hunger, achieve food security and promote nutrition and sustainable agriculture (United Nations Statistics Division, 2019).

As a result of consultations between Statistics Canada and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) as well as data users, it became apparent that a module on food security would complement the other subjects covered by LISA and provide a unique insight for monitoring poverty in Canada. A decision was then made to include, for the first time, the FSC module in 2018 (Wave 4) of LISA. Along with the current roster of subjects on low income, family history, health, labour market activities, and education, researchers can use LISA data to investigate associations among these subjects and their impact on food security. The longitudinal character of LISA will make it valuable for longitudinal statistical analyses of these subjects and how they influence food security and poverty in Canada. The unique ability for longitudinal data to determine causality will provide a deeper understanding on the Canadian population that enters, remains, and exits low income.

3.3. Food Security Measures

There are four derived LISA food security measures: 1) a three-category Adult food security, 2) a three-category household food security, 3) a four-category household food security and 4) a three-category child food security. The three-category food security measures indicates households (or the adult or child members of the household) as being food secure, food insecure (moderate) and food insecure (severe). The four-category household food security measure, originally added to the CCHS at the specific request of researchers/organizations, includes being food secure, food insecure (marginal), food insecure (moderate) and food insecure (severe). Marginal food insecurity occurs when households are concerned they do not have a sufficient amount of food and/or an inadequate food variety due to financial constraints (PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research, 2018a). Moderate food insecurity is when households suffer from compromised quality and/or quantity of food as a result of deficiency in finances (PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research, 2018a). Severe food insecurity, the harshest of the three categories, is when households experience patterns of disruptive eating habits, such as missed meals, and reduced food intake (PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research, 2018a). At the most extreme levels of severe food insecurity, households can go day(s) without food (PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research, 2018a). Food secure households are households with no or only one “affirmative” response to the food security questions for the three-category food security measure or when there is no “affirmative” response for the four-category food security measure (see section 3.4 for more details).

3.4. Deriving the Food Security Measures

According to Health Canada (2007), of the 18 food security questions, 10 are specific to the food security experiences of the adults in the household and eight are specific to the food security experiences of children under 18 in the household, if any are present (see Table 1A of Appendix A and Table 1B of Appendix B for more details). The household-level food security measures were derived using all 18 questions. The four derived LISA food security measures were adopted from HFSSM. They are: adult food security measure (FSC_AFS), child food security measure (FSC_CFS), a three-category household food security measure (FSC_HHFS), and a four-category household food security (FSC_HHF2); see Table 1B of Appendix B. LISA FSC questions were asked of a person 18 years of age and older and who is the most knowledgeable for the household. To determine if the child food security experience questions should be asked, household members aged 16 or 17 years old living with an adult relative were considered children. Household members aged 16 or 17 years old were considered adults if they were not living with an adult relative.

The creation of these food security measures are similar in principle (see Table 2B, Appendix B). First, there was the need to recode responses to each question as either "affirmative" (coded as 1) or "negative" (coded as 0). Affirmative responses correspond to questions with answers “yes” and negative responses correspond to question with answers “no”. Questions with responses such as "Often true", "Sometimes true", "Almost every month", and "Some months but not every month" were recoded as "affirmative" and responses such as "Never true" and "Only 1 or 2 months" were recoded as "negative".

Second, the recoded responses (1 or 0) were then combined depending on the number of questions involved to create the specific food security measure (see Table 2B, Appendix B).

4. Descriptive Statistics

4.1. Food Security Statistical Analysis

Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) food security measures may be used to analyze three distinct populations and their corresponding sub-population domains (Table 4.0). These populations include LISA population of householdsNote , LISA population of adults (individuals 18 years of age and older and individuals 16 or 17 years of age not living with an adult relative) and LISA population of households with children (individuals 0 to 15 years of age, and individuals 16 or 17 years of age who are living with an adult relative). The food security measures corresponding to these populations are household food security measure, adult food security measure and child food security measure, respectively. One must ensure that when producing estimates using each of these food security measures, the appropriate populations of interest are correctly specified.


Table 4.0
LISA Food Security Populations
Table summary
This table displays the results of LISA Food Security Populations. The information is grouped by Populations (appearing as row headers), Description, Analysis Type, Food Security Derived Variables, Sample Size (number) and Recommended LISA Weights (appearing as column headers).
Populations Description Analysis Type Food Security Derived Variables Sample Size (number) Recommended LISA WeightsTable 4.0 Note 1
Household population All households in the Wave 4 Household-level analysis FSC_HHFS, FSC_HHF2 9,074 Enumerated person weights (EPW)Table 4.0 Note 2
Adult population Adults 18 years of age and older in Wave 4Table 4.0 Note 3 Individual-level analysis FSC_AFS 22,480 All waves responding person weights (AWRPW)
Household population with children All households in Wave 4 with children ages 0-15 years of age and 16 or 17 years of age if they are living with an adult relative Household-level analysis FSC_CFS 2,238 Enumerated person weights (EPW)

LISA produces two distinct sampling weights to be used for person-level statistical analyses: all waves weights and wave-t weights. The all waves weights are for longitudinal statistical analyses and the wave-t weights are for LISA contemporary cross-sectional statistical analyses. Household-level analyses are only possible for cross-sectional type analysesNote  and person-level analyses can be done as longitudinal and cross-sectional type analyses. For the household-level analyses, the recommended set of weights to use are the wave-t enumerated person weights and for the person-level analyses, the recommended weights to use are the all waves responding person weights (for longitudinal statistical analyses) and wave-t responding person weights (for cross-sectional type statistical analyses)Note . Since LISA does not produce household weights, approximate household weights may be derived: average of the enumerated person weights of all persons in a household are used as approximate LISA wave-t household weights.

Table 4.1 presents preliminary unweighted frequency counts for the four food security measures. These measures were derived based solely on responses from a selected member of the household - the person most knowledgeable about the household (PMK). For LISA, in general, all members of a household who are 15 years of age and older are eligible for the LISA questionnaire. However, for the food security module, only one person, a PMK (18 years of age and older or an individual 16 or 17 years of age who does not live with an adult relative) from a household, was eligible to provide answers to this module. The “Valid skip” in Table 4.1 represents responding adult members in the household who were not selected to provide responses to the food security questions. It should be noted that, valid statistical analyses and inferences cannot be made without appropriately recoding these valid skips to have the same responses as the PMK for the adult food security.


Table 4.1
Number of persons (sample) for adult food security, household food security and child food security measures, Canada 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number of persons (sample) for adult food security. The information is grouped by Food security measure (appearing as row headers), Adult Food Security (FSC_AFS) , Household Food Security
(FSC_HHFS) , Household Food Security
(FSC_HHF2)* and Child Food Security (FSC_CFS) (appearing as column headers).
Food security measure Adult Food Security (FSC_AFS) Household Food Security
(FSC_HHFS)
Household Food Security
(FSC_HHF2)Note *
Child Food Security (FSC_CFS)
Food secure 8,356 8,342 8,037 2,104
Food insecure, marginal Note ...: not applicable Note ...: not applicable 305 Note ...: not applicable
Food insecure, moderate 390 403 403 94
Food insecure, severe 210 210 210 4
Valid skip 11,143 11,143 11,143 17,906
Not stated 2,381 2,382 2,382 2,372
Total 22,480 22,480 22,480 22,480

In order to produce valid statistical analyses and inferences (using LISA sampling and bootstrap weights) for any of these four LISA food security measures, analysts/data users would have to first do the following: For household-level analysis, in order to use the two household food security measures and the child food security measure, the PMK response on behalf of the household will represent the household response. For adult-level analysis, in order to use the adult food security measure one must assign responses from the person most knowledgeable to all adult members of the household. This process will appropriately eliminate the “Valid skip” category before starting any statistical analyses.

Adult Food Security Measure

Table 4.2 shows the unweighted frequency counts using the adult food security measure (FSC_AFS) for cross-sectional type and longitudinal statistical analyses. As mentioned earlier, for valid statistical analyses, the responses from the person most knowledgeable in the household are first assigned to all adult members of the household.


Table 4.2
Number of persons (sample) for adult food security, Canada 2018
Table summary
This table displays the results of Number of persons (sample) for adult food security. The information is grouped by Food Security category (appearing as row headers), Adult Food Security: FSC_AFS
(for cross-sectional analyses) and Adult Food Security): FSC_AFS (for longitudinal analyses), calculated using number units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Food Security category Adult Food Security: FSC_AFS
(for cross-sectional analyses)
Adult Food Security: FSC_AFS (for longitudinal analyses)Table 4.2 Note 1
number number
Food secure 20,515 10,080
Food insecure, moderate 916 325
Food insecure, severe 438 149
Missing 611 86
Total 22,480 10,640

Table 4.3 presents sample counts, weighted frequency counts (of totals), weighted proportions and their associated coefficients of variation (CVs) for adult food security measure in the context of longitudinal analyses. Overall, the estimates for the various categories of the food security measure are of good quality for publication based on the CVs. The table also shows that for the adult LISA population in 2018, 93.9% were food secure, 3.4% were moderately food insecure, 1.9% were severely food insecure, and 0.9% were not stated.


Table 4.3
Adult food security measure in Canada, 2018 – Totals and Proportions
Table summary
This table displays the results of Adult food security measure in Canada. The information is grouped by Food Security measure (appearing as row headers), Sample , Totals and Proportions (appearing as column headers).
Food Security measure Sample Totals Proportions
Food Security - adult status number number coefficients of variation percent coefficients of variation
Food secure 10,080 24,723,715 0.6 93.9 0.6
Food insecure, moderate 325 886,735 10.9 3.4 10.9
Food insecure, severe 149 489,110 17.1 1.9 17.1
Not stated 86 244,074 14.1 0.9 14.1
Total 10,640 26,343,634 Note ...: not applicable 100.0 Note ...: not applicable

The “Not stated” category represents missing response. These non-responses could bias the overall estimates depending on the type and size. These type of non-responses are usually treated by a method referred to as imputation. The treatment of this type of non-response is beyond the scope of this report.

Household Food Security Measure

The LISA survey was designed primarily for longitudinal analyses at the person level. Therefore, all LISA sampling and bootstrap weights are generated at the person level. The food security module is primarily a household driven module. However, analyses can be done at both the person and household levels.  Unfortunately, there are no LISA longitudinal or cross-sectional household sampling and bootstrap weights to allow for direct analyses of LISA data at the household level. For contemporary cross-sectional statistical household-level analyses, a good approximation is to use LISA wave-t enumerated person sampling and bootstrap weights as follows: assign the average of all the persons-level weights to the household to represent the household sampling and bootstrap weights. Note that the LISA population in 2018 is the Canadian population in 2018 not accounting for new immigrants to Canada since 2012. Using these approximate household weights, household food security sample counts, weighted frequency, weighted proportions and the corresponding CVs were produced.

Table 4.4 shows the sample counts, weighted frequency counts (of totals) and percentages (proportions) for the three-category food security measure for the LISA population in 2018. For the household food security measure, the estimates for all the categories demonstrate good quality based on the smaller CVs. The table shows that for the Canadian (LISA) population in 2018, 91.3% were food secure, 4.2% were moderately food insecure, 2.0% were severely food insecure, and 2.5% were unknown (not stated).


Table 4.4
Household food security measure (three category) for all members in the households in Canada, 2018 – Totals and Proportions
Table summary
This table displays the results of Household food security measure (three category) for all members in the households in Canada. The information is grouped by Food Security measure (appearing as row headers), Sample, Totals and Proportions (appearing as column headers).
Food Security measure Sample Totals Proportions
Household food security status - three categories number number coefficients of variation percent coefficients of variation
Food secure 18,420 32,672,502 0.5 91.3 0.5
Food insecure, moderate 846 1,494,489 7.4 4.2 7.4
Food insecure, severe 356 717,002 10.0 2.0 10.0
Not stated 530 908,401 9.5 2.5 9.5
Total 20,152 35,792,394 Note ...: not applicable 100.0 Note ...: not applicable

Table 4.5 is similar to Table 4.4, except that the food secure category in Table 4.4 was divided into two categories, food secure and marginally food insecure. In Table 4.5, 87.7% of the Canadian (LISA) population in 2018 were food secure and 3.6% were marginally food insecure.


Table 4.5
Household food security measure (four category) for all members in the households in Canada, 2018 – Totals and Proportions
Table summary
This table displays the results of Household food security measure (four category) for all members in the households in Canada. The information is grouped by Food Security measure (appearing as row headers), Sample, Totals and Proportions (appearing as column headers).
Food Security measure Sample Totals Proportions
Household food security status - four categories number number coefficients of variation percent coefficients of variation
Food secure 17,745 31,374,831 0.6 87.7 0.6
Food insecure, marginal 675 1,297,671 8.6 3.6 8.6
Food insecure, moderate 846 1,494,489 7.4 4.2 7.4
Food insecure, severe 356 717,002 10.0 2.0 10.0
Not stated 530 908,401 9.5 2.5 9.5
Total 20,152 35,792,394 Note ...: not applicable 100.0 Note ...: not applicable

Table 4.6 shows the sample counts, weighted frequency counts (of totals) and percentages (proportions) for the three-category household food security measure for the LISA population of households in 2018. The estimates are based on household sampling and bootstrap weights derived from LISA wave-t enumerated person weights (as explained in section 4.1 of this report). The table shows that for the Canadian (LISA) households in 2018, 91.1% were food secure, 4.5% were moderately food insecure, 2.6% were severely food insecure and 1.8% were unknown (not stated).


Table 4.6
Household food security measure (three category) for all households in Canada, 2018 – Totals and Proportions
Table summary
This table displays the results of Household food security measure (three category) for all households in Canada. The information is grouped by Food Security measure (appearing as row headers), Sample, Totals and Proportions (appearing as column headers).
Food Security measure Sample Totals Proportions
Household food security status - three categories number number coefficients of variation percent coefficients of variation
Food secure 8,299 15,823,857 0.7 91.1 0.5
Food insecure, moderate 401 775,598 7.7 4.5 7.7
Food insecure, severe 207 456,064 9.8 2.6 9.8
Not stated 167 305,037 10.2 1.8 10.2
Total 9,074 17,360,557 Note ...: not applicable 100.0 Note ...: not applicable

Table 4.7 is the same as Table 4.6 except the food secure category is split into two categories to include the marginally food insecure category. In Table 4.7, 87.5% of the Canadian (LISA) households in 2018 were food secure and 3.6% were marginally food insecure.


Table 4.7
Household food security measure (four category) for all households in Canada, 2018 – Totals and Proportions
Table summary
This table displays the results of Household food security measure (four category) for all households in Canada. The information is grouped by Food Security measure (appearing as row headers), Sample, Totals and Proportions (appearing as column headers).
Food Security measure Sample Totals Proportions
Household food security status - four categories number number coefficients of variation percent coefficients of variation
Food secure 7,995 15,194,116 0.8 87.5 0.6
Food insecure, marginal 304 629,742 8.4 3.6 8.4
Food insecure, moderate 401 775,598 7.7 4.5 7.7
Food insecure, severe 207 456,064 9.8 2.6 9.8
Not stated 167 305,037 10.2 1.8 10.2
Total 9,074 17,360,557 Note ...: not applicable 100.0 Note ...: not applicable

Child Food Security Measure

Table 4.8 shows the sample counts, weighted frequency counts (of totals) and percentages (proportions) for the child food security measure of LISA households in 2018 with young and older children. The household-level estimates are based on household sampling and bootstrap weights derived from LISA wave-t enumerated person weights (as explained in section 4.1 of this report).  The CVs show good quality estimates at the Canada level except for the severely food insecure category which is not publishable. The table shows that of the Canadian (LISA) households with children in 2018, 93.1% were food secure, 4.0% were moderately food insecure and 2.7% were unknown. Since the severely food insecure category has insufficient responding households, it may be advisable to combine the moderately and severely food insecure categories into one category to allow for publishable estimates.


Table 4.8
Child food security measure for all households with young and older children in Canada, 2018 – Totals and proportions
Table summary
This table displays the results of Child food security measure for all households with young and older children in Canada. The information is grouped by Food Security measure (appearing as row headers), Sample, Totals and Proportions (appearing as column headers).
Food Security measure Sample Totals Proportions
Food security - child status number number coefficients of variation percent coefficients of variation
Households with children
Food secure 2,083 3,995,707 1.5 93.1 0.8
Food insecure, moderate 92 172,499 13.7 4.0 13.6
Food insecure, severe ...Table 4.8 Note U ...Table 4.8 Note U ...Table 4.8 Note U ...Table 4.8 Note U ...Table 4.8 Note U
Not stated 59 115,902 17.0 2.7 16.9
Total 2,238 4,289,994 Note ...: not applicable 100.0 Note ...: not applicable

For all the statistics reported in the tables in section 4 and related ones, it should be noted that, for smaller population domains such as age groups by sex, province by sex and so on, the number of responding persons/households will decrease and this may affect the quality of the estimates that may be produced.   In general, the smaller the sample size (i.e., the number of responding persons/households), the lower the quality of the estimates that may be produced.

5. LISA Food Security Module versus Other Modules

The LISA Food Security (FSC) module was adopted from the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) version of the Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM)Note . So in essence, it is practically no different from the modules used by CCHS, and other surveys that adopt this module. Hence, this may allow for some comparisons of the data among these surveys. CCHS is a cross-sectional survey, and is therefore not adequate for longitudinal statistical analyses. LISA on the other hand was designed for longitudinal statistical analyses. An added benefit to LISA is the potential to use for some LISA-defined cross-sectional-type statistical analyses. This means that food security measures can benefit from both longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses, as shown in section 4 of this report.

Table 5.1 compares estimates of household food insecurity by province between LISA household population in 2018 and four cycles of CCHS in 2007-2008, 2011-2012, 2015-2016, and 2017-2018. It should be noted that LISA was designed primarily for longitudinal studies. However, estimates for LISA in the table are cross-sectional. Moreover, LISA households in 2018 does not account for new immigrant households to Canada since 2012 whereas the CCHS households in the respective cycles represent all the Canadian households for those specific cycle years. In spite of these conceptual differences in population, the table shows that LISA estimates are reasonably comparable to those of CCHS.


Table 5.1
Household food insecurity by province between LISA and four cycles of the Canadian Community Household Survey (CCHS) - Proportions moderately and severely food insecure
Table summary
This table displays the results of Household food insecurity by province between LISA and four cycles of the Canadian Community Household Survey (CCHS) - Proportions moderately and severely food insecure. The information is grouped by Province (appearing as row headers), LISA, CCHS, 2018, 2007-2008, 2011-2012, 2015-2016, 2017-2018 and Proportion, calculated using percent units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Province LISA CCHS
2018 2007-2008 2011-2012 2015-2016 2017-2018
Proportion
percent
Canada 7.2 7.7 8.3 Note ...: not applicable 8.8
Alberta 8.8 6.4 8.1 8.8 9.2
British Columbia 7.3 7.8 8.2 8.8 8.7
Manitoba 9.3 9.1 7.9 10.0 10.2
Newfoundland and Labrador 8.3 9.4 7.6 Note ...: not applicable 10.0
New Brunswick 11.4 9.6 10.2 10.1 8.9
Nova Scotia 9.7 9.3 11.9 11.7 10.9
Ontario 7.4 8.2 8.2 Note ...: not applicable 9.0
Prince Edward Island 7.9 10.4 10.6 10.9 9.9
Quebec 5.0 6.8 8.1 8.5 7.4
Saskatchewan 8.7 6.4 8.1 9.3 9.3

6. Conclusion

This report provided a general description of the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) survey and its overall content. Section 3 summarized the importance of adding the Food Security (FSC) module in 2018 (Wave 4) as part of the rich array of subjects covered by LISA. The FSC module may benefit from the longitudinal character of the survey through primarily longitudinal statistical studies as well as some cross-sectional studies. The descriptive statistics illustrated in section 4 also show that overall, LISA data on food security produced good quality and publishable estimates, especially for population domains with reasonably large sample sizes (i.e., sufficient number of responding persons/households). Moreover, the section also explained how to correctly use responses collected from only a single person (person most knowledgeable, PMK) from a household for statistical analyses. Note that in general, LISA data are collected from all persons 15 years of age and older but the FSC module was collected from only a PMK. Furthermore, the section also discussed how to correctly use LISA longitudinal (referred to as “all waves”) weights and cross-sectional (referred to as “wave-t”) weights to produce valid statistical inferences. The cross-sectional analyses may also allow for some comparisons with other surveys, as illustrated in section 5.

In all of the illustrated tables on food security measures provided in section 4, there is a category referred to as “Not stated” that is, missing data. This type of missing data is generally known as item non-response, i.e., missing data for the particular food security measure. Item non-response could bias the overall estimates and so are generally treated by a method referred to as imputation so as to reduce bias. Imputation was implemented for only a limited number of financial variables for LISA. Therefore, the treatment of item non-response for most of the LISA variables was left for the data users to decide on the best approach to handle the missing data to meet their particular analytical studies’ needs. It must be mentioned that the smaller the number/percent of missing data as is the case here, the less likely for it to have a significant impact on the statistical inferences.

7. References

Benhin, E. (2018). Data Quality Report. Longitudinal and International Study of Adults, Wave 3. Internal Document.

Bickel G, Nord M, Price C et al. (2000). Guide to Measuring Household Food Security, Revised 2000. Alexandria, VA: Food and Nutrition Service, United States Department of Agriculture. Available at: https://fns-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/FSGuide.pdf.

Employment and Social Development Canada. (2018). Opportunity for All – Canada's First Poverty Reduction Strategy. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/poverty-reduction/reports/strategy.html

Health Canada. (2007). Canadian Community Health Survey, Cycle 2.2, Nutrition (2004): Income-Related Household Food Security in Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/migration/hc-sc/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/surveill/income_food_sec-sec_alim-eng.pdf

Health Canada. (2012). Household Food Insecurity in Canada: Overview. Accessed on October 4, 2019

PROOF Food Insecurity Policy Research. (2018a). Household Food Insecurity in Canada. Retrieved from https://proof.utoronto.ca/food-insecurity/.

Statistics Canada.  Table 13-10-0462-01. Household food insecurity, by presence of children in the household and food insecurity status.

Statistics Canada. (2018a). Canadian Community Health Survey - Annual Component (CCHS). Retrieved from http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&SDDS=3226.

Statistics Canada. (2018b). Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA). Retrieved from http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&SDDS=5144.

Statistics Canada. (2018c). Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) - excluding question flow - 2018 (Wave 4) (LISA). Retrieved from http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p3Instr.pl?Function=getInstrumentList&Item_Id=424498&UL=AV.

Statistics Canada. (2019). Dimensions of Poverty Hub. Retrieved from https://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/topics-start/poverty

Tarasuk, V. (2001). Discussion Paper on Household and Individual Food Insecurity. A report prepared for the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Health Canada. Available at: www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/pol/food_sec_entire-sec_aliments_entier_e.html.

United Nations Statistics Division. (2019). Global indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/indicators/Global%20Indicator%20Framework%20after%202019%20refinement_Eng.pdf

Appendix A: LISA Food Security Module


Table 1A
LISA Food Security Questionnaire
Table summary
This table displays the results of LISA Food Security Questionnaire. The information is grouped by Question (appearing as row headers), Content (appearing as column headers).
Question Content
FSC_R010 The following questions are about the food situation for your household in the past 12 months. I’m going to read you several statements that may be used to describe the food situation for a household. Please tell me if the statement was often true, sometimes true, or never true for [you/you and other household members] in the past 12 months.
FSC_Q010 The first statement is: [You/You and other household members] worried that food would run out before you got money to buy more. Was that often true, sometimes true, or never true in the past 12 months?
FSC_Q015 The food that [you/you and other household members] bought just didn’t last, and there wasn’t any money to get more. Was that often true, sometimes true, or never true in the past 12 months?
FSC_Q020 [You/You and other household members] couldn’t afford to eat balanced meals. In the past 12 months was that often true, sometimes true, or never true?
FSC_R025 Now, I’m going to read a few statements that may describe the food situation for households with children.
FSC_Q025 [You/You or other adults in your household] relied on only a few kinds of low-cost food to feed [Child/the children] because you were running out of money to buy food. Was that often true, sometimes true, or never true in the past 12 months?
FSC_Q030 [You/You or other adults in your household] couldn’t feed [Child/the children] a balanced meal, because you couldn’t afford it. Was that often true, sometimes true, or never true in the past 12 months?
FSC_Q035 [The children were] not eating enough because [you/you or other adults in your household] just couldn't afford enough food. Was that often, sometimes, or never true in the past 12 months?
FSC_R040 The following few questions are about the food situation in the past 12 months for you or any other adults in your household.
FSC_Q040 In the past 12 months, since last CURRENTMONTH, did [you/you or other adults in your household] ever cut the size of your meals or skip meals because there wasn’t enough money for food?
FSC_Q045 How often did this happen? Was it...?
FSC_Q050 In the past 12 months, did you (personally) ever eat less than you felt you should because there wasn't enough money to buy food?
FSC_Q055 In the past 12 months, were you (personally) ever hungry but didn't eat because you couldn't afford enough food?
FSC_Q060 In the past 12 months, did you (personally) ever lose weight because you didn't have enough money for food?
FSC_Q065 In the past 12 months, did [you/you or other adults in your household] ever not eat for a whole day because there wasn't enough money for food?
FSC_Q070 How often did this happen? Was it...?
FSC_R075 Now, a few questions on the food experiences for children in your household.
FSC_Q075 In the past 12 months, did [you/you or other adults in your household] ever cut the size of [child’s/any of the children’s] meals because there wasn't enough money for food?
FSC_Q080 In the past 12 months, did [child/any of the children] ever skip meals because there wasn't enough money for food?
FSC_Q085 How often did this happen? Was it...?
FSC_Q090 In the past 12 months, [was child/were any of the children] ever hungry but you just couldn't afford more food?
FSC_Q095 In the past 12 months, did [child/any of the children] ever not eat for a whole day because there wasn't enough money for food?

Appendix B: Food Security Measures


Table 1B
Food Security measures, variable names and questionnaire variables
Table summary
This table displays the results of Food Security measures. The information is grouped by Food security measure (appearing as row headers), Derived variable name and LISA questionnaire variable name (appearing as column headers).
Food security measure Derived variable name LISA questionnaire variable name
Adult Status FSC_AFS FSC_Q010, FSC_Q015, FSC_Q020, FSC_Q040, FSC_Q045, FSC_Q050, FSC_Q055, FSC_Q060, FSC_Q065, FSC_Q070
Child Status FSC_CFS FSC_Q025, FSC_Q030, FSC_Q035, FSC_Q075, FSC_Q080, FSC_Q085, FSC_Q090, FSC_Q095
Household Status
(three categories)
FSC_HHFS FSC_Q010, FSC_Q015, FSC_Q020, FSC_Q025, FSC_Q030, FSC_Q035, FSC_Q040, FSC_Q045, FSC_Q050, FSC_Q055, FSC_Q060, FSC_Q065, FSC_Q070, FSC_Q075, FSC_Q080, FSC_Q085, FSC_Q090, FSC_Q095
Household Status
Modified (four categories)
FSC_HHF2 FSC_Q010, FSC_Q015, FSC_Q020, FSC_Q025, FSC_Q030, FSC_Q035, FSC_Q040, FSC_Q045, FSC_Q050, FSC_Q055, FSC_Q060, FSC_Q065, FSC_Q070, FSC_Q075, FSC_Q080, FSC_Q085, FSC_Q090, FSC_Q095

Table 2B
Food Security measures, variable names and questionnaire variables
Table summary
This table displays the results of Food Security measures. The information is grouped by Measure (appearing as row headers), Category and Derivation (appearing as column headers).
Measure Category Derivation
Adult Scale 0 = Food secure 0 or 1 affirmative response
1 = Food insecure – moderate 2 to 5 affirmative responses
2 = Food insecure – severe Greater than or equal to 6 affirmative responses
Child Scale 0 = Food secure 0 or 1 affirmative response
1 = Food insecure – moderate 2 to 4 affirmative responses
2 = Food insecure – severe Greater than or equal to 5 affirmative responses
Household Scale 0 = Food secure If both adult scale and child scale are food secure
1 = Food insecure – moderate If either adult or child scale, or both adult and child scale are moderately food insecure and neither are severely food insecure
2 = Food insecure – severe If adult and/or child scale are severely food insecure
Household Scale – modified 0 = Food secure Zero affirmative responses within the children and adults in the household
1 = Food insecure – marginal If the combined adult and child scale results in exactly one affirmative response
2 = Food insecure – moderate Unchanged from original household scale
3 = Food insecure – severe Unchanged from original household scale

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