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Family could not afford to eat balanced meals, last 30 days

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For sample children and sample adults (and prior to 2019, all persons), FSBALANC indicates whether in the last 30 days, it was often true, sometimes true, or never true that their family could not afford to eat balanced meals.

FSBALANC is one of a set of variables comprising the Family Food Security Supplement, designed to study 30-day family food security. For more information about the measurement of 30-day family food security or for a list of other variables in the Family Food Security Supplement, please refer to FSRAWSCORE).


Changes in the universe affect the comparability of this variable over time. In 2011-2018, FSBALANC is available for all family members. Beginning in 2019, NHIS data collection changed to select only one sample adult and sample child per household. Accordingly, for 2019-forward, FSBALANC is only available for the sample child age 0-17 and the sample adult age 18 and older.

The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.


  • 2011-2018: All families.
  • 2019-2022: Sample children age 0-17 and sample adults age 18+.


  • 2011-2022