What are the Connections Between Food Insecurity and Health?
The Hunger in America 2014 survey found that many households served by the Feeding America® network of food banks include people coping with a chronic disease that is impacted by dietary intake. Fifty-eight percent of households have at least one member with high blood pressure and 33 percent have at least one member with diabetes.
The cycle of food insecurity and chronic disease begins when an individual or family cannot afford enough nutritious food. The combination of stress and poor nutrition can make disease management even more challenging. Further, the time and money needed to respond to these worsening health crises drains the household budget, leaving little money for essential nutrition and medical care. This causes the cycle to continue. Many families experiencing food insecurity often have several, if not all, compounding factors which makes maintaining good health extremely difficult.