03/28/2022 - The Academy is committed to improving the health of Americans by ensuring access to a nourishing, safe and affordable food supply. As written in the comment letter sent to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force, the Academy provided the following considerations to help shape USPSTF's research design and questions for inclusion:
1. Definition of Nutrition Security. This term has grown in popularity and even recently included in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's announcement of actions to promote nutrition security in the U.S. As this term continues to be used in both community and clinical settings, the Academy suggests that it be formally defined for this research framework.
2. When discussing providers using screening tools, consider breaking down providers by practitioners who do food and nutrition security screenings. Providers like registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), social workers, and nurses should be given specific instructions as individuals screening for food and nutrition insecurity. This research design should also consider breaking down providers by area of practice and the population being evaluated. When comparing various clinical and community settings, the area of focus and type of practitioner screening for food and nutrition security will look different and that should be reflected in this research framework.
3. Consider measuring constructs related to food security such as malnutrition and nutrition status in the study design. Clinical care screening tools identified in the Malnutrition Quality Improvement Initiative (MQII) are validated and provide clinical insight on a patient's state of malnutrition, a condition which is closely aligned with food security. Other validated measures used for specific populations including the Hunger Vital Signs should also be included as they address food security and are part of a host of tools available to use in various community and clinical settings.