Objective: To validate the telephone modality of the Latin American and Caribbean Food Security Scale (ELCSA) included in three waves of a phone survey to estimate the monthly household food insecurity prevalence during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mexico. Design: We examined the reliability and internal validity of the ELCSA scale in three repeated waves of cross-sectional surveys with Rasch models. We estimated the monthly prevalence of food insecurity in the general population and in households with and without children and compared them with a national 2018 survey. We tested concurrent validity by testing associations of food insecurity with socio-economic status and anxiety. Setting: ENCOVID-19 is a monthly telephone cross-sectional survey collecting information on the well-being of Mexican households during the pandemic lockdown. Surveys used probabilistic samples, and we used data from April (n 833), May (n 850) and June 2020 (n 1674). Participants: Mexicans 18 years or older who had a mobile telephone. Results: ELCSA had an adequate model fit and food insecurity was associated, within each wave, with more poverty and anxiety. The COVID-19 lockdown was associated with an important reduction in food security, decreasing stepwise from 38·9 % in 2018 to 24·9 % in June 2020 in households with children. Conclusions: Telephone surveys were a feasible strategy to monitor reductions in food security during the COVID-19 lockdown.
- Food security