Are Persistence and Severity of Food Insecurity Negatively Associated with Educational outcomes? Evidence from IndiaISER External Seminars

Food insecurity involves difficulties consistently accessing enough safe and nutritious food to support a healthy life. A large body of literature, disproportionately from the US, has demonstrated food insecurity impairs children’s ability to concentrate in school, long-term cognitive development, and school attendance and completion. While growing literature in the Global South has established the negative impacts of food insecurity for children’s educational outcomes across a wide range of countries, further evidence is needed, particularly longitudinal evidence examining the role of severity and persistence of food insecurity. In this presentation, I will present early findings from the Food Security for Equitable Futures project. Here, we focus on India, where more than 10% of the world’s food insecure households live. We draw on Rounds 3, 4, and 5 of the Young Lives survey data, utilising the validated Household Food Insecurity Access Scale (HFIAS) to examine the association between educational outcomes (school enrolment, educational attainment, academic performance) and food insecurity severity (none, mild, moderate, or severe). Across outcomes, we find a negative association between food insecurity and educational outcomes, with stronger effects for moderate and severe food insecurity. We also examine associations between educational outcomes and persistence of food insecurity. We find that, for both severity and persistence, adding child level controls (gender, age, birth order, number of siblings, school-related time use, and private school attendance) substantially reduces but does not fully account for these associations. There is a smaller, further reduction in effect sizes with the introduction of household sociodemographic controls, but our food insecurity measures still remain significant in most models. In our next stage of the analysis, we will consider whether there are gender differences in pathways between food insecurity and educational outcomes.

Presented by:

Dr Jasmine Fledderhohann (Lancaster University)

Date & time:

February 23, 2022 12:30 pm - February 23, 2022 1:30 pm


Venue: Remotely via Zoom - contact the series organisers (at if you do not have the link

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