Although hunger has real health and emotional impacts for people of all ages, seniors are even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of food insecurity. New research released by Feeding America provides insight into the negative health impacts on seniors when they are unsure where their next meal will come from. The results show real differences not only in nutrition, but in a range of issues from heart health to emotional wellbeing.
Seniors who are food insecure consume less overall calories and 10-24% less of each of the major nutrients, such as protein, iron, and calcium. Compared with seniors who are food secure, food insecure seniors are 53% more likely to suffer a heart attack and 52% more likely to develop asthma, and have much higher rates of congestive heart failure and coronary heart disease.
In additional to the real, physical impacts of hunger, food insecure seniors are 22% more likely to experience limitations to basic, everyday tasks and activities and are a staggering 60% more likely to experience depression.
Knowing more about the impact hunger has in our own community helps us create and refine the programs we use to find sustainable way end hunger. For more information, read the full report from Feeding America.