OBJECTIVE: To review the context of food insecurity in Greenlandic children, to review and compare the outcomes related to food insecurity in Greenlandic children, in other Arctic child populations and in other western societies, and to explore the measure used by the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study. DESIGN: The study includes literature reviews, focus group interviews with children and analyses of data from the HBSC study. HBSC is an international cross-national school-based survey on child and adolescent health and health behaviour in the age groups 11, 13 and 15 years and performed in more than 40 countries. The item on food insecurity is "Some young people go to school or to bed hungry because there is not enough food in the home. How often does this happen to you?" (with the response options: "Always", "Often", "Sometimes", or "Never"). RESULTS: The context to food security among Inuit in Arctic regions was found to be very similar and connected to a westernization of the diet and contamination of the traditional diet. The major challenges are contamination, economic access to healthy food and socio-demographic differences in having a healthy diet. The literature on outcomes related to food insecurity in children in Western societies was reviewed and grouped based on 8 domains. Using data from the Greenlandic HBSC data from 2010, the item on food security showed negative associations on central items in all these domains. Focus group interviews with children revealed face and content validity of the HBSC item. CONCLUSION: Triangulation of the above-mentioned findings indicates that the HBSC measure of food shortage is a reliable indicator of food insecurity in Greenlandic schoolchildren. However, more research is needed, especially on explanatory and mediating factors.
International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 2013, Vol 72
Adolescent Adolescent Development Arctic Regions/epidemiology Behavior Child Cross-Cultural Comparison Diet Female Focus Groups Food Supply/*statistics & numerical data Greenland/epidemiology Health Surveys Humans *Hunger Inuits/*psychology/*statistics & numerical data Male Mental Health Prevalence Reproducibility of Results Risk Factors Socioeconomic Factors