Tags: senior | hunger | health

More Seniors Face Hunger

Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:23 PM

One in seven American seniors faces the threat of hunger and malnutrition, according to a new University of Illinois 10-year study.
The study, prepared for the Meals on Wheels Research Foundation, found nearly 15 percent of people 60 and older are going without enough to eat – up from 11 percent in 2005 – putting them at risk of malnutrition-related health problems.
"In 2005, we reported that one in nine seniors faced the threat of hunger," said lead researcher Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois associate professor of agricultural and consumer economics. "So, unlike the population as a whole, food insecurity among those 60 and older actually increased between 2009 and 2010."
According to the study, from 2001 to 2010, the number of seniors going without enough food increased by 78 percent. Since the onset of the recession in 2007, the number increased by 34 percent due largely to economic constraints.
Gundersen said the study findings spotlight a serious problem that has significant implications for senior health, noting improper nutrition “is also associated with a host of poor health outcomes.”
The increases in senior hunger were most pronounced among whites, widows, rural residents, the retired, women, and in households with no grandchildren.
"What may be surprising is that out of those seniors who face the threat of hunger, the majority have incomes above the poverty line and are white," Gundersen said.
The report was based on U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

© HealthDay

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A growing number of Americans 60 and older are going without enough to eat, raising their health risks.
Thursday, 17 May 2012 12:23 PM
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