Food insecurity and health disparities – Term Paper

Food insecurity

What was mostly known as hunger, in the 80s is now referred to as food insecurity. Undernourishment is also a synonym to food insecurity, stating that it is where one cannot obtain enough food to sustain minimum daily nutritional needs. Understanding food insecurity, the definition of food security is needed. Food security is defined as people’s accessibility to adequate food for a healthy, able life (Campbell, 1991). Food insecurity occurs when food security is limited or unreliable. A measure of food insecurity involves a measure of quantity, quality and psychological norms that render people’s normal way.

Since the inception of earth and man put in it, there has been a constant struggle for survival. Several theories have emerged trying to explain food insecurity although the extent or severity of the situation varies from one person to another depending on social status or geographical area. Early man used to search for food through hunting and gathering. This was not as simple as people would think but it was the only method available for surviving. Due to no technology dry seasons meant hibernation for some time.

Food insecurity is measured by providing country-wide statistics on food security. International bodies that monitor food access and control give information to the countries in the world. The measurement is done by accessing household food acquisition, consumption, and utilization. The information is used by relevant authorities for future planning on the food crisis. Food security was measured by scales validated in developing countries. Food insecurity has a negative impact on the optimal dietary intake of young adults. There are four ways of measuring food insecurity. With only one being indirect. Meaning this is experience-based.

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Why do you think there is food insecurity in the US

Millions of Americans suffer food insecurity, with numbers increasing rapidly in recent times. Hunger decreases with income increase. However, a small percentage of Americans who suffer food insecurity are below the level of poverty. While the others are able people with a sustainable income. A tool used to conduct a survey on the issue of food insecurity was designed. The data collected showed that there was a pattern which recurred showing that adult and children who suffered food insecurity due to inadequate resources.

How does food insecurity relate to and lead to health disparity in the US?

The inability to acquire sufficient food for a healthy, active life is what referred to as food insecurity is. Studies conducted shows that there is a high correlation of food insecurity and chronic illnesses among children and adults. The most evident disease is hypertension and hyperlipidemia with an exception of diabetes. On critical observation on the label diabetes was traceable. (Seligman, Laraia, ; Kushel, 2010). Cardiovascular disease was also found to be associated with food insecurity.

Food insecurity in households has been imagined to promote us of less expensive delicious food which is rich in energy. Having enough food at the first of every month and inadequate at the end is associated with rapid weight. Enhancing development of chronic health problems like obesity that attract more body disorders. Food insecurity is also related to low intake of vitamins and mineral salts. This makes an individual malnourished. Increasing vulnerability to diseases.;

What are food deserts?

Is defined as parts of a country’s tasteless vegetables, fresh fruits among other whole feeds that are health. Mostly found in disadvantaged areas. The main cause being inadequate stores that sell groceries, a market for farmers and other hale and hearty food suppliers. Food deserts are rich in sugar and heavy processed fat.

Why do food deserts still exist?

In urban areas, there are readily available supermarkets and grocery stores that could be a mile away or less. Unlike people in the countryside who could travel to a distance of about ten miles to find a grocery store where vehicles are not easily available. Forcing the people in such an area to use food deserts. Even if grocery stores could be brought to people’s residential area, does it mean that the people will run for healthier fresh food? This may not be the case since individual habits need to change first. To implement the good healthy habits. The elimination of food deserts was one of the goals of the former First Lady.

How do food deserts contribute to health disparities in the U.S?

Consuming few of packaged food and more of vegetables and fruits contribute to a long healthy living. Many Americans prefer visiting the chain stores where there is processed food but will take a long while to visit a supermarket where there is healthier food. People are living in such areas. Lack of healthy food contributes to chronic diseases. Examples of cancer, diabetes just to mention a few. Food deserts are not food in their purest form, meaning they have added additives that are harmful to one’s body when the use is prolonged. 

Research your state/city/country and identify a food desert USDA Economic Research Service map) Explain why it is considered to be a food desert. If you cannot find one in your area, find an example of one and explain what characteristic make that a particular area a food desert.

Jack in the Box’s chocolate overload is an example of a food desert since it has a large concentration of sugar giving the risk of one being diabetic.

Discuss the quality of nutrition supplied to food insecure families;

With increasing population, there will be need of more agricultural productivity. Protecting of natural resources that increase food productivity and wellbeing of farmers will improve the supply of healthy food (Bohle, Downing, ; Watts, 1994). Families that have food insecurity will be reached with increase in good infrastructure that allows penetration and stable households to store food. Land preserved for agricultural use increase food productivity. Reflecting more supply in the market.

How does food insecurity lead to poor health?

Food insecure people become malnourished making them suffer chronic diseases. Some who do not have access to healthy food ought to consume food desert that is considered unhealthy. Contributing to diseases like diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular malfunctions.

Identify at least three government assistance programs

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Child Nutrition Program

Hunger and Food Security Resources

How do various government programs aid reducing food insecurity and health disparities in the U.S?

Food insecurity there is no better way to curb it but supplying healthier fresh food s to the grocery stores.; Therefore, those with small farms are required to put them into good use and cultivate good producing form it. Health-wise the government is campaigning against food deserts that are deteriorating to one’s health. Reducing the consumption of this kind of food and increasing greens consumption.


Food insecurity is a national disaster that needs addressing. For every citizen is eligible to good, sufficient food to be productive and active. Without proper food, many are accustomed to consuming food deserts that are rendered harmful when used in large quantities and repeatedly. Leading the cause of chronic diseases which are fatal, while some are expensive or difficult to treat. The government is concerned and therefore has programs set aside for the affected people living in rural and underprivileged areas.