Food insecurity in advanced capitalist nations: A review

Michael A. Long*, Lara Gonçalves, Paul B. Stretesky, Margaret Anne Defeyter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Food insecurity is a substantial problem in nearly every advanced capitalist nation, with sizable portions of residents in many affluent countries struggling to eat healthily every day. Over time, a very large literature has developed that documents food insecurity, evaluates programs meant to reduce that insecurity, and proposes solutions to attenuate the problem. The purpose of the current review is to provide a very broad overview of the food insecurity literature, including definitions, measurement, areas of study, and impacts on health. Importantly, this review suggests there are two major causes of food insecurity in the advanced nations: economic inequality and neoliberalism. The food insecurity literature suggests that diminished government responsibility in advanced capitalist nations corresponds to an increase in feeding programs run by non-profit and charitable organizations. This review concludes by suggesting that, while a massive amount of research on food insecurity currently exists, more research is still needed to address gaps in the literature when it comes to significant events, coping strategies and disadvantaged populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3654
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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