Food Insecurity, Chronic Disease, and Health Among Working-Age Adults

This report documents the strong correlation between food security status and chronic health conditions among working-age adults living at or below 200 percent of the Federal poverty line (FPL). In general, lower food security is associated with higher probability of each of the chronic diseases we examine—hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), hepatitis, stroke, cancer, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease. Food security status is also strongly related to the likelihood of chronic disease in general, to the number of chronic conditions afflicting the sufferer, and to self-assessed health. Moreover, looking at the entire range of household food security (high, marginal, low, and very low) is important for understanding individuals’ experience of chronic illness and, more generally, health. Indeed, food security status is more strongly predictive of chronic illness in some cases even than income. Income is significantly associated with just 3 of the 10 chronic diseases examined in this report, while food insecurity is associated with all 10.

Issue Date:
Jul 31 2017
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Economic Research Report Number 235

 Record created 2017-08-15, last modified 2018-01-23

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