Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
- Low household food security for children can lead to an increased risk for obesity.
- Food insecure families who participate in SNAP are twice as likely to be healthy than those who don't participate in the program.
- 85% of surveyed physicians agree that unmet social needs lead to worse health for Americans and are therefore just as important to address as medical conditions.
Metallinos-Katsaras, E., Must, A., & Gorman, K. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dec. 2012.
- "Persistent household food insecurity without hunger was associated with 22% greater odds of child obesity compared with those persistently food secure."
Children's Health Watch, Feb. 2012
Children whose families received SNAP benefits, compared to those which were eligible but not receiving the benefits, were:
- Less likely to be underweight and have developmental delays.
- Less likely to live in a household that had to make trade-offs such as deciding between paying for rent, bills or healthcare and paying for food.
- More likely to be food secure.
Leadership for Healthy Communities: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Feb. 2012.
Low-income people are disproportionately affected by obesity compared to the general population. Some policy suggestions in this brief include:
- Increase access to nutritious foods: for every 3.3 feet of shelf space offering fresh vegetables, residents consume an additional 0.35 servings of vegetables per day.
- Serve nutritious food in public facilities: students who participate in federal nutrition programs have healthier diets than those that eat those meals elsewhere.
- Promote programs that provide supplemental nutrition: the WIC program can address both childhood hunger and obesity by supporting the purchase of specific nutrient-rich foods.
USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Research Analysis. Jan. 2012.
- Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) packages delivered to low-income elderly participants contain about 1/4 of total energy needs.
- USDA foods selected by schools for the National School Lunch Program provided 28% of the total recommended dietary allowance for protein for children.
- Vegetables and meat accounted for 43% of USDA foods delivered through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dec. 2011
- 85% of the physicians surveyed said "unmet social needs are directly leading to worse health."
- Many of the physicians surveyed said they wish they could write prescriptions to address social needs -- 64% said they would write prescriptions for nutritious food.
Food Research and Action Center. Spring 2011.
Some factors which may make food insecure or low-income individuals at-risk for obesity:
- High levels of stress
- Lack of access to healthy, affordable food
- Cycle of overeating after periods of having to skip meals due to food insecurity
- Limited access to healthcare
Several studies have shown evidence for a higher risk of obesity among food insecure women.
Davis, T.C., Schillinger, D., Seligman, H.K., and Wolf, M.S. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. Nov. 2010
Diabetes self-management - comparison of food insecure and food secure individuals...
Ever take less medicine than prescribed because could not afford to buy more food:
- Food insecure individuals: 38.9%
- Food secure individuals: 13.6%
Ever check blood sugar less than supposed to because couldn't afford supplies:
- Food insecure individuals: 33.3%
- Food secure individuals: 9.1%
Blood sugar ever gotten too low because you couldn't afford enough food:
- Food insecure individuals: 33.3%
- Food secure individuals: 4.6%