Is Food Insecurity Really a Problem in the U.S.?

I’m hearing ads on the radio that many in the U.S., including children, are suffering from hunger. Nutrition science journals in the last few years are covering “food insecurity,” which many would assume means not having enough food or fearing the lack of food.

These concerns seem at odds with the fact that two-thirds of us are overweight or obese. So how many of us at normal or below-average weights suffer from food insecurity or hunger?

James Bovard breaks it down for you in an excellent article. Read the whole thing. Some morsels (heh):

  • seven times as many (low income) children are obese as are underweight
  • 40% of food stamp (SNAP) users are obese, compared to 30% in the overall U.S. adult population
  • if the food stamp program would prohibit purchase of sugary drinks, it would prevent 141,000 children from becoming fat and save a quarter million adults from type 2 diabetes

Fat hungry people would be less hungry if they’d cut way back on refined, nutrient-poor carbohydrates, replacing with protein and healthy fats.

Steve Parker, M.D.

2 responses to “Is Food Insecurity Really a Problem in the U.S.?

  1. I have a very strong feeling it’s not true “food insecurity” for many of these poor kids who are basically doomed from conception, but a problem of a lack of responsible adults in their lives who will take the money available for food and make it work to nurture them.
    A pot of beans and one of oatmeal as well as some boiled eggs on the counter–none of which even requires refrigeration—goes a long way to providing protein and calories, at the cost of a bottle of soda per person. Maybe less.

    I have long advocated restoring orphanages for children whose families receive government benefits (after a certain period of time–anybody can have a bad patch) so they can have structure in their lives–reliable healthy meals, a schedule that allows them to sleep and learn and develop the habits they will need to be successful adults– while the adults do what is needed to establish what they need to first care for themselves, then care for a child
    on a daily basis.

  2. It seems a bad diet affects the mind as much as the body. The lack of nutrients in the SAD (Standard American Diet) slows thinking; combine that with ignorance about what a nutritious diet is (eg. the low-fat diet). You end up with people eating constantly to try to find micronutrients missing in their diet.