Food Insecurity among American Indians and Alaska Natives: A National Profile using the Current Population Survey-Food Security Supplement

J Hunger Environ Nutr. 2017;12(1):1-10. doi: 10.1080/19320248.2016.1227750. Epub 2016 Oct 25.


Food insecurity increases the risk for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer-conditions highly prevalent among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). Using the Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement, we analyzed the food insecurity trends of AI/ANs compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the United States from 2000 to 2010. From 2000 to 2010, 25% of AI/ANs remained consistently food insecure and AI/ANs were twice as likely to be food insecure compared to whites. Urban AI/ANs were more likely to experience food insecurity than rural AI/ANs. Our findings highlight the need for national and tribal policies that expand food assistance programs; promote and support increased access to healthy foods and community food security, in both rural and urban areas; and reduce the burden of diet-related disparities on low-income and racial/ethnic minority populations.

Keywords: Alaska native; American Indian; current population survey; food environments; food security; obesity.