ATHENS, Ohio, Sept. 7 (UPI) — About 17 million Americans, including 1.1 million children, experienced very low food security, and about 49 million have some food insecurity, researchers say.
Food insecurity was defined by the researchers as limited or intermittent access to nutritionally adequate, safe and acceptable foods accessed in socially acceptable ways.
David H. Holben, professor of nutrition and director of the didactic program in dietetics at Ohio University, wrote the position paper for the American Dietetic Association on U.S. food insecurity calling for funding for food and nutrition assistance programs, increased nutrition education, and efforts to promote economic self-sufficiency for all households and individuals.
The paper calls access to food “a basic human need and fundamental right.”
“In children, adolescents and adults, negative nutrition and non-nutrition-related outcomes have been associated with food insecurity, including substandard academic achievement, inadequate intake of key nutrients, poor health, chronic disease risk and development, and poor psychological and cognitive functioning,” position paper says.
The paper, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, says households receiving help from emergency food providers such as pantries, kitchens and shelters appear to be particularly vulnerable to food insecurity.
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