Great recession reflux amounts to more hunger among seniors

May 14, 2012

A new study that looked at the hunger trends over a 10-year period found that 14.85 percent of seniors in the United States, more than one in seven, face the threat of hunger. This translates into 8.3 million seniors.

"In 2005, we reported that one in nine seniors faced the threat of hunger," said Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois associate professor of agricultural and consumer economics and executive director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory who led the data analysis on the study. "So, unlike the population as a whole, among those 60 and older actually increased between 2009 and 2010."

According to the study, from 2001 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 78 percent. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 34 percent.

Gundersen said that the fact that seniors in our country are going without enough food due to economic constraints is a serious problem that will have greater implications for senior health.

"Compounding the problem is that food insecurity is also associated with a host of poor for seniors such as reduced nutrient intakes and limitations in activities of daily living," Gundersen said. "Consequently, this recent increase in senior hunger will likely lead to additional nutritional and health challenges for our nation."

The increases in senior hunger were most pronounced among the near poor, whites, widows, non-metro residents, the retired, women, and among households with no grandchildren present.

"What may be surprising is that out of those seniors who face the threat of hunger, the majority have incomes above the and are white," Gundersen said.

Other key findings in the study are that those living in states in the South and Southwest, those who are racial or ethnic minorities, those with lower incomes, and those who are younger, ages 60 to 69, are most likely to be threatened by hunger.

Explore further: Seniors struggle with chronic pain

Related Stories

Seniors struggle with chronic pain

February 22, 2008

A Canadian survey found that more than one-quarter of seniors living at home and 38 percent of those in institutions suffered from chronic pain.

MU research team releases first Missouri Hunger Atlas

February 22, 2008

More than $1.1 billion a year is spent on public programs in Missouri, yet a new University of Missouri study reports the state has a rising number of people worried about having sufficient amounts of food and coping with ...

Hungry children and youth have more health problems

August 2, 2010

Children and youth who experience hunger appear more likely to have health problems, and repeated episodes of hunger may be particularly toxic, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent ...

Study shows hunger hitting closer to home

March 28, 2011

A new study on hunger entitled "Map the Meal Gap" is the first study to identify the county-level distribution of over 50 million food-insecure Americans.

Report reveals economic, social costs of hunger in America

October 5, 2011

The Great Recession and the currently tepid economic recovery swelled the ranks of American households confronting hunger and food insecurity by 30 percent. In 2010 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households, ...

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.