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Exploratory Factor Analysis on Six Food Insecurity Questions: Data from Malaysian Adult Nutrition Survey 2014

Introduction: Household food insecurity is defined as the inability to provide enough food for a healthy and active lifestyle for all household members. This study aimed to reveal the risk of household food insecurity in Malaysia based on data from Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS) 2014. Method: Six questions adapted from the ‘Household Food Security Survey Module’ have been asked to 3000 respondents in MANS 2014. An Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) has been used to identify the main underlying structure or dimension. Result: All of six questions establishing one underlying structure which explained 71.7% of the variance. This single structure was named ‘risk of household food insecurity’. By summing score, regression approach suggested the score 21 and above indicated no risk for household food insecurity whilst the score 20 contrarily. According to this cut-off, 24.8% of Malaysian household was at risk for household food insecurity and 75.2% was secured. The risk found to be significantly different by location, strata, race and income. Conclusion: Quarter of the Malaysian household was at the risk of household food insecurity. Immediate action by multi-sectoral agencies urgently needed to prevent the effect of household food insecurity and also reduce the prevalence in the next survey.


Mohamad Hasnan Ahmad, Balkish Mahadir Naidu and Ruhaya Salleh

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