Friday, June 2, 2017
HOW FOOD INSECURITY IMPACTS SENIORS
Because of limited financial resources, food-insecure adults often need to stretch constrained budgets. The strategies they use--forgoing medical care; purchasing low-cost, nutrient-poor foods; and making trade-offs between food and other basic necessities, such as medication--can harm their health. Older adults experiencing food insecurity have lower overall dietary quality than their food-secure counterparts. They consume fewer calories, less protein, and fewer essential vitamins and minerals when compared to their food-secure peers. Research shows that older adults who are food insecure are more likely to experience diabetes, congestive heart failure, hypertension, gum disease, and limitations on activities of daily living, among other negative health outcomes. Additionally, compared to their food-secure counterparts, older adults struggling against food insecurity are at higher risk of depression. Often, food-insecure older adults have more doctor’s office visits and emergency room visits, and more frequent hospitalizations.