Wednesday, May 6, 2015


The odds of depressive symptoms increase as the severity of food insecurity increases, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition that examined depression, food security, and SNAP participation status among 3,518 people with incomes at or below 130% of the federal poverty level. Those who were very low food secure had 3 times greater odds of depression than those who were food secure. Though SNAP participants had a higher prevalence of depression, the odds of depression were lower for food-insecure SNAP participants than for food-insecure non-participants, which suggests SNAP may have a protective effect on mental health.

An article in the same issue of the Journal revealed that food insecurity is associated with poor sleep outcomes in adults. Very low food security was associated with sleeping half an hour less among women. The study authors found both men and women in households with very low food security were twice as likely to report sleep complaints to a health care professional, compared to food secure households.

Source: Food Research Action Center, 4/29/15, Food Insecurity & Mental Health