Supporting the Feeding America food banks and their affiliates serving Iowa in their work to ensure that sufficient food is accessible to all.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Impacts of Hunger on Health

  • Food insecure adults have an increased risk of developing diabetes. (Feeding America website - Seligman, Bindman, Vittinghoff, Kanaya, & Kushel, 2007; Nelson, Cunningham, Andersen, Harrison & Gelberg, 2001)
  • Food insecurity is associated with a range of chronic illnesses such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and various cardiovascular risk factors. (Feeding America website - Slack & Yoo, 2005)
  • Food insecurity is associated with lower scores on physical and mental health exams. (Feeding America website - Stuff, Casey, Szeto, Gossett, Robbins, Simpson, Connell, and Bogle, 2004)
  • Food insecure adults may experience higher levels of aggression and anxiety. (Feeding America website- Kleinman, Murphy, Little, Pagano, Wehler, Regal, & Jellinek, 1998; Slack & Yoo, 2005)
  • Inadequate access to food during pregnancy has been shown to increase the risk for low birth weight in babies. (Feeding America website - Borders, Grobman, Amsden, & Holl, 2007)
    • Low birth weight is associated with a variety of other problems, such as a lower IQ at age 18, shorter adult height, and an increased chance of being overweight or obese.
  • Children who are food insecure may be at higher risk for chronic health conditions, like anemia and asthma. (Feeding America website - Kirkpatrick, McIntyre, & Potestio, 2010; Eicher-Miller, Mason, Weaver, McCabe, & Boushey, 2009; Skalicky, Meyers, Adams, Yang, Cook, & Frank, 2006)
  • Children experiencing food insecurity are at a greater risk of being overweight than those who are not – a trend which begins by the preschool years. There is also a correlation between early food insecurity and later overweight and obesity. (Feeding America/Children’s HealthWatch Report)
    • Children whose families experienced food insecurity while the child was a toddler are 3.4 times more likely to be obese at age 4 ½ than children whose families were food secure.
  •  Elementary school kids experiencing severe food insecurity are four times more likely than their peers to require mental health counseling , seven times more likely to be classified as clinically dysfunctional, and seven times more likely to get into fights frequently. (Feeding America/Children’s HealthWatch Report)
  • Children who are food insecure have an elevated occurrence of health problems such as stomachaches, headaches, colds, ear infections, and fatigue (Center on Hunger and Poverty)