Can Food Insecurity Lead to Obesity?

“Food insecurity” refers to a lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life. In the West, this issue is most often due to limited financial resources. 

People with low food security report concerns that food will run out before they can afford to buy more and being unable to afford balanced meals. Internationally, food insecurity more often relates to the frequency of conflict and to climate-related failure of harvests. Very low food security is more likely to lead to reduced food intake and undernourishment.

While there are varying degrees, low food security can reduce the “quality, variety, and desirability” of a person’s diet, even in wealthy nations like the U.S. Very low food security in the U.S., for example, leads to skipping meals and the disruption of regular eating patterns.

In 2019, 10.5% of U.S. households had some level of food insecurity — 6.4% had low food security, and 4.1% had very low food security. Now, there are concerns that COVID-19 may be exacerbating this problem.

Excerpted from Medical News Today

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