Monday, November 20, 2006

"very low food security."

No more 'hungry' Americans: US government says

The US government has tweaked its terminology in referring to the nearly 11 million Americans who face a constant struggle with hunger to refer to them as people with "very low food security."

According to a report released this month by the US Department of Agriculture, roughly 35 million Americans had difficulty feeding themselves in 2005 and of those some 10.8 million went hungry.

But unlike last year's report on hunger in America, which labeled families who don't get enough to eat as having "food insecurity with hunger," this year's report referred to them as having "very low food security."

The change in terminology has angered groups that fight hunger who say it is aimed at hiding a stark reality.

"There is very widespread feeling that it was a mistake to water down the language," Jim Weill, director of the Washington-based Food Research and Action Center, a non-profit organization, told AFP.

"There are 35 million people in this country who are struggling with hunger, no matter what you call it," he added. "An there is no way ultimately to obscure the fact that we're an incredibly wealthy country with 35 million people who are struggling with hunger."

US officials have defended the change, saying it is based on a recommendation from the National Academies, which advises the government on science and medical issues.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006