Nutrition and health outcomes associated with food insecurity and hunger

J Nutr. 1999 Feb;129(2S Suppl):521S-524S. doi: 10.1093/jn/129.2.521S.


This paper explores how food insecurity and hunger relate to health and nutrition outcomes in food-rich countries such as the United States. It focuses on two subgroups of the population for whom data are available: women of childbearing age and school-age children. Special consideration is given to examining how food insecurity relates to these outcomes independently of socioeconomic status and poverty. In a population-based sample of women of childbearing age, the least severe level of food insecurity (household food insecurity) was correlated with higher body mass index (BMI), controlling for other available and known influences on obesity including income level. In low income school-age children from two large urban areas of the U.S., risk of hunger and hunger were associated with compromised psychosocial functioning, controlling for maternal education and estimated household income. The nutrition and health consequences of food insecurity comprise a potentially rich area for future, socially relevant research in the field of nutritional sciences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Hunger*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Social Behavior Disorders
  • United States