Food insecurity strongly linked to increasing death rates

A study published in PLOS ONE examined the link between food insecurity and mortality risk.

Researchers analyzed data from adults in Ontario, Canada, who participated in the Canadian Community Health Survey in 2005, 2007-08 and 2009-10. The participants were given an 18-question module, and based on their responses they were classified as food secure, marginally food insecure, moderately food insecure or severely food insecure.

Researchers compared participants' subsequent mortality from the Ontario Registered Persons Database to the survey answers.

The study shows the higher the severity of a person's food insecurity, the higher the risk of mortality.

"Fortunately, there are proven methods to reduce food insecurity in the U.S. — the most critical being the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program," said Craig Gundersen, PhD, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois in Urbana. "And this is one of the most effective ways we can reduce mortality rates, along with other social safety-net programs."

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