The government obsession in fixing poverty makes Americans too fat. Among the states, the prevalence of food insecurity ranged from 14.1% in Kansas to 24.9% in Alabama. South Carolina, had a prevalence of >20% according to the study done by the Borgen project.org.
Food insecure adults had a significantly higher incidence of obesity. Approximately 1 in 3 US adults are obese, and they are at increased risk of adverse health consequences, including premature death, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Food insecurity implies a limited ability to secure adequate food due to insufficient household resources. They are more prevalent among low-income populations because:
- Individuals could overcompensate when food is readily available, and so the overall food intake is higher. Studies found that food expenditure and energy intake increased dramatically after food stamps are received.
- In response to food shortage, the body increases its fat storage. When food is restricted periodically, not only there’s an increase in body fat, but also a decrease in lean body muscle mass, and a quicker weight gain. Weight cycling due to food insecurity could make the body use dietary energy more efficiently.
- Energy-dense foods such as high in added sugar and fat, are often less expensive. Overconsumption of low-cost, energy-dense foods may result in higher energy intake and lead to obesity. Food insecurity correlates with low food expenditure, low fruit and vegetable consumption, and a less-healthy diet.
- Food insecurity independent of socioeconomic status is also related to negative psychological consequences, such as anxiety and depression, these may also contribute to obesity.
Therefore to lower the prevalence of food insecurity for all adults that will help maintain a healthy and active life is to increase not only access to affordable healthy foods that is safe and nutritious but also include safe environments, adequate income, meaningful and valued social roles, secure housing, higher levels of education, and social support.
At Doctor for Life, our staff recognizes the importance of Food Security. Whether you, your child or your whole family want to embrace a healthy lifestyle, we can help. Doctor for Life has a full team dedicated to creating a doctor-guided, patient-centered program individualized to your needs. We address all aspects related to living a healthy lifestyle, including nutrition, exercise, behavior, and pharmacotherapy.