One in seven people in the US is food insecure

Over time, not having enough to eat and not knowing when you will eat can lead to these conditions:

  • Unbalanced nutrition
  • Periods of weight gain and loss
  • Stress
  • Reduced resilience

Certain groups of people, such as children, the elderly, and the homeless are even more susceptible to the effects of hunger and food insecurity.

“You are what you eat”

We have all heard this saying, and both medical studies and non-scientific anecdotes keep supporting it. When people have little choice in what they can get to eat and when they might go hungry, their health can suffer. Normally managed health conditions can become chronic or require emergency treatment. These include:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Mental and behavioral health problems
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer
  • HIV
  • Tuberculosis

A consistent and healthy variety of food is needed

All ages are affected by food insecurity and the related health issues. For such a large at-risk population, many organizations and approaches are helping. By recognizing hunger as a health issue, we can work to address the most serious, and costly, effects while reducing hunger in America. Groups at the forefront of addressing hunger and health include:

  • Universities and Hospitals
  • Hunger Organizations and Think Tanks
  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Health Departments
  • Healthcare Organizations

Health / Wellness Partners

Nutrition / Diet Partners

Ashley Koff, R.D.

Charles Platkin PhD, JD, MPH

Executive Director, NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College
Distinguished Lecturer at Hunter College, City University of New York


Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF)

Tisch Food Center at Teachers College
Columbia University