Household food insecurity in Canada: Overview

Food insecurity is the inability to acquire or consume an adequate diet quality or sufficient quantity of food in socially acceptable ways, or the uncertainty that one will be able to do so. Household food insecurity is often linked with the household's financial ability to access adequate food.  

Health Canada plays a leading role in monitoring key food and nutrition indicators, including household food insecurity. Household food insecurity is a key predictor of unhealthy eating and an important determinant of health.

The Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM) is a tool to measure household food insecurity. Statistics Canada has included it in the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) since 2005. This has allowed monitoring of household food insecurity over time. 

Some surveys have captured estimates of household food insecurity among Indigenous Peoples in Canada. These surveys include the:

  • Inuit Health Survey (2007 to 2008) 
  • First Nations Food, and Nutrition Environment Study (FNFNES) (2008 to 2018)

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