Assessing and Monitoring Nutrition Security to Promote Healthy Dietary Intake and Outcomes in the United States

Annu Rev Nutr. 2023 Aug 21:43:409-429. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-062222-023359. Epub 2023 May 31.


The US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service leads the federal government in data development and research on food security in US households. Nutrition security is an emerging concept that, although closely related, is distinct from food security. No standard conceptualization or measure of nutrition security currently exists. We review the existing research on nutrition security and how it is informed by the more robust literature on food security and diet quality. Based on this review, we propose a conceptual framework for understanding nutrition security and its relationship to food security. We identify two constructs (healthy diets and nutritional status) and multiple subconstructs that form the basis of nutrition security. The proposed framework and corresponding constructs are intended to provide (a) understanding of how nutrition security arises and how it differs from food security, (b) background on why assessment and monitoring of nutrition security is important, and (c) guidance for a research agenda that will further clarify the meaning of nutrition security and its measurement.

Keywords: assessment; food security; health; monitoring; nutrition security.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Diet*
  • Diet, Healthy
  • Eating
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status*
  • United States