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An Examination of Print Media Coverage of Household Food Insecurity Action in Canada Patricia A. Collins, PhD School of Urban and Regional Planning, Queen’s.

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Presentation on theme: "An Examination of Print Media Coverage of Household Food Insecurity Action in Canada Patricia A. Collins, PhD School of Urban and Regional Planning, Queen’s."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Examination of Print Media Coverage of Household Food Insecurity Action in Canada Patricia A. Collins, PhD School of Urban and Regional Planning, Queen’s University Canadian Public Health Association Annual Meeting May 28, 2014

2 Presentation Overview Background on HFI and HFI-Action in Canada Knowledge gaps, study objective, and methods Preliminary results Conclusions and implications

3 HFI in Canada 13% of Canadian households are food insecure – 34% marginal  worry about food – 46% moderate  making compromises with food – 20% severe  forgoing food Health impacts – Compromised nutrition – Adults  Low SRH, nutrition-related chronic diseases – Children  Overweight, low BMD, asthma Tarasuk et al Kirkpatrick & Tarasuk 2008 Che & Chen 2001 Vozoris & Tarasuk 2003 Dubois et al Kirkpatrick et al. 2010

4 Determinants of HFI Low income is primary determinant of HFI – 72% of households dependent on welfare – 38% of households dependent on EI/WC – 62% of households dependent on wages Increasing prevalence attributable to rising costs of living Proximity (or lack thereof) may not be a strong determinant of HFI Tarasuk et al Emery et al Kirkpatrick & Tarasuk 2010 Apparicio et al Pearson et al. 2005

5 Action on HFI Lack of coordinated provincial and federal policies to reduce HFI – UN rep De Schutter’s call for national food strategy in 2012 Neoliberalism, welfare state decline, downloading to municipalities Action primarily at municipal level – Unable to redistribute income – Food-based solution to income-based problem Riches 2002 Emery 2012 Tarasuk et al FCM 2006 Tarasuk 2001

6 Conceptual Framework for HFI Action in Canada Municipal- Level Food- Based Approach Charitable Model Household Improvements & Supports Model Community Food Systems Model Federal & Provincial Level Income- Based Approach Income-Support Model (e.g., social assistance, child care benefits, housing supports) HEALTH (e.g., diabetes, CVD, stroke, hypertension, mental illness, asthma, obesity) HOUSEHOLD FOOD INSECURITY Access to (healthy) food Self-efficacy Dignity Social cohesion Income Security Anxiety & Stress Nutritional Status Disease Mgt Coping Skills Collins et al. 2014

7 Knowledge Gaps and Study Objective Food-based initiatives supported by various groups – Fed & prov health policy-makers, public health units – Local service providers, food security advocates Gaps – Limited evidence of effectiveness of initiatives in reducing HFI – No evidence on how media might be driving/perpetuating support Study Objective – To critically analyze Canadian print media coverage of HFI issues

8 Methods Quantitative media content analysis Eighteen newspapers – 2 national, 16 regional/local 6 provinces – QC, ON, MB, SK, AB, BC Published between

9 Codebook Bibliographic details – Title, author, newspaper, date, section, type, length Initiatives profiled – Name, level, type, model Recommendations for action – Yes/no, prescribed action, organizations, government level & sector Tone – Positive, neutral, negative

10 Article Sample Flowchart Excluded articles that discussed international initiatives Articles mentioned either “food security” or “food insecurity” N=2456 Excluded articles that were not a news story, editorial, opinion/commentary or a letter to the editor Excluded articles that defined food security/insecurity differently (e.g., food security meaning food safety) N=952 N=707 N=547

11 General Characteristics of Article Sample Nearly one-third from three newspapers – Vancouver Sun 14% – Toronto Star 9% – Globe and Mail 8% Article Type – News story 72% – Opinion or commentary 13% – Letter to the editor 9% – Editorial 5%

12 Article Coverage from

13 Coverage of Food-Based Initiatives

14 Types of Initiatives Profiled

15 Responsibility for Action Organizations responsible – Government 70% – Multiple orgs 16% – Private citizens 6% – NGOs 5% – Educational institutions 2% – Private corps 0.5% – Public health units 0.2%

16 Initiatives Profiled and Tone of Coverage Initiative TypePositiveNeutralNegative Community gardens (N=65)49465 Food banks (N=48) Multiple initiatives (N=47) Policy/bylaw change (N=42)0955 Protection of farmland & local food mov’t (N=39)21728 Education & skills development (N=38)71290 Food charters & policy councils (N=38)16768 Awareness & consciousness raising (N=35)65440 Public markets (N=14)71290 Good food boxes (N=8)63370 Total (N=374)345313

17 Government Level and Tone of Coverage Level of Government PositiveNeutralNegative Municipal Provincial/Territorial Federal35047 Multiple Levels104347

18 Findings Summary Print media news coverage of food insecurity issues in Canada risen steadily Majority of coverage profiles initiatives delivered at neighbourhood- and municipal-levels Non-charitable initiatives (i.e., those from household improvements and community food systems models) positively framed Municipalities implicated often and positively

19 Conclusions & Implications These findings suggest that news media may be mediating the widespread support for food-based approaches to address HFI in Canada. This study's findings reinforce the need for critical evaluation of such initiatives to ensure that Canada's food-based approach to HFI action is driven by evidence, not rhetoric.

20 Acknowledgements Senate Advisory Research Committee, Queen’s University Dr. Megan Gaucher, Trent University Drs. Elaine Power & Margaret Little, Queen’s University

21 References Apparicio, P., M.-S. Cloutier and R. Shearmur (2007). "The case of Montreal's missing food deserts: Evaluation of accessibility to food deserts." International Journal of Health Geography 6(4). Che, J. and J. Chen (2001). "Food insecurity in Canadian households " Health Reports 12(4): Collins, P., E. Power and M. Little (2014). "Municipal Level Responses to Household Food Insecurity in Canada: A Call For Critical, Evaluative Research." Canadian Journal of Public Health 105(2). Dubois, L., D. Francis, D. Burnier, F. Tatone-Tokuda, M. Girard, G. Gordon-Strachan, K. R. Fox and R. Wilks (2011). "Household food insecurity and childhood overweight in Jamaica and Quebec: a gender-based analysis." BMC Public Health 31(11): 199. Emery, J. C. H. (2012). Why a basic annual income is necessary to reduce food insecurity prevalence. North American Basic Income Network Conference. Toronto, ON. Emery, J. C. H., A. C. Bartoo, J. Matheson, A. Ferrer, S. I. Kirkpatrick, V. Tarasuk and L. McIntyre (2012). "Evidence of the Association between Household Food Insecurity and Heating Cost Inflation in Canada, 1998–2001." Canadian Public Policy 38(2): FCM (2006). Building prosperity from the ground up: Restoring municipal fiscal balance. Ottawa, ON, Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Kirkpatrick, S., L. McIntyre and M. L. Potestio (2010). "Child hunger and long-term adverse consequences for health." Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine 164(8):

22 References (cont.) Kirkpatrick, S. and V. Tarasuk (2008). "Food insecurity is associated with nutrient inadequacies among Canadian adults and adolescents." The Journal of Nutrition 138: Kirkpatrick, S. and V. Tarasuk (2010). "Assessing the relevance of neighbourhood characteristics to the household food security of low-income Toronto families." Public Health Nutrition 13(7): Pearson, T., J. Russell, M. Campbell and M. Barker (2005). "Do 'food deserts' influence fruit and vegetable consumption? - A cross-sectional study " Appetite 45: Riches, G. (2002). "Food banks and food security: Welfare reform, human rights and social policy. Lessons from Canada?." Social Policy and Administration 36(6): Tarasuk, V. (2001). "A critical examination of community-based responses to household food insecurity in Canada." Health Education & Behavior 28(4): Tarasuk, V., L. McIntyre and E. M. Power (2012). Income-related household food insecurity in Canada: A policy failure to address poverty. Submission on Civil Society Priority Issue #1: Hunger, Poverty and the Right to Food. Toronto, ON, Report to Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Mission to Canada: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Tarasuk, V., A. Mitchell and N. Dachner (2014). Household food insecurity in Canada, Toronto, ON, Research to identify policy options to reduce food insecurity (PROOF). Vozoris, N. and V. Tarasuk (2003). "Household Food Insufficiency Is Associated with Poorer Health." The Journal of Nutrition 133(1):

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