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Different Hunger Calculation Approach Could Help Use Resources More Effectively

In a New York Times opinion piece, Robert Jensen, an associate professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Nolan Miller, a professor of finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, suggest an alternate strategy for measuring hunger, called the “staple-calorie-share approach,” which “can give us a radically different view of who is hungry and who is not.”

“None of this is to say that hunger is not a critical issue: no matter how you measure it, hundreds of millions of people around the world aren’t getting enough to eat,” Jensen and Miller write. “But aid money is a scarce resource, and policy makers have to decide whether it is best spent on food aid or other forms of vital assistance, like health care. Adopting a more nuanced and accurate measurement of hunger would be a big help in making those lifesaving decisions,” they conclude (7/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.