Increases in Food Insecurity Seen in U.S. Families With Older Adults

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by Healthday

Rates of recurring food insecurity more than doubled, rates of chronic food insecurity more than tripled from 1999-2003 to 2015-2019

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 4, 2024 (HealthDay News) — From 1999-2003 to 2015-2019, there was an increase in food insecurity among U.S. families with older adults, according to a study published online March 1 in JAMA Health Forum.

Cindy W. Leung, Sc.D., M.P.H., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues compared food insecurity trends among U.S. families with an older adult from 1999 to 2003 (1,311) and 2015 to 2019 (2,268) in a cohort study using data from the nationally representative Panel Study of Income Dynamics.

The researchers observed an increase in food insecurity among U.S. families with older adults, from 12.5 to 23.1 percent in 1999-2003 to 2015-2019. There was more than a doubling seen in the rates of recurring food insecurity (5.6 to 12.6 percent) and more than a tripling in the rates of chronic food insecurity (2.0 to 6.3 percent). Higher food insecurity rates persisted among Black and Hispanic families, those with lower socioeconomic status, and those participating in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, across both time periods.

“Future research should focus on the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on food insecurity trends and identifying policy and programmatic strategies to reduce food insecurity among families with older adults,” the authors write.

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