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LOW FOOD SECURITY: in 2006 the U.S. government’s annual hunger report dropped the word “hunger” and

December 1, 2008

Summary: in 2006 the U.S. government's annual hunger report dropped the word "hunger" and used instead "low food security" or "very low food security." The Agriculture Department, following the advice of the Committee on National Statistics of the National Academies, decided that "hungry" was not scientifically accurate: being hungry was too amorphous a way to refer to "a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation." (The New York Times opined, "We opt for 'hunger' as a most stirring word.")

For more information on the forthcoming Unspinning the Spin: The Women’s Media Center Guide to Accurate, Bias-Free Language, click here.

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