Food / Nutrition

Food Insecurity and Health: A Tool Kit for Physicians and Health Care Organizations

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Introduction
Food insecurity is an important but often overlooked factor affecting the health of a significant segment of the American population. In the United States, 1 in 8 people struggles with hunger and no one can thrive on an empty stomach. To raise awareness and to offer suggestions for how health care professionals might treat food insecurity in their patients, Humana partnered with Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States, to develop this toolkit. We hope you find it informative and useful in your effort to provide the best possible care to your patients.

Food insecurity is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” Food insecurity is a situation in which households lack access to enough nutritious food for a healthy, active life. As the health care sector seeks to better understand and address social determinants of health, food insecurity is emerging as a key factor for chronic disease – and one that health care providers can help address in order to improve health outcomes.

 

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