Editorial

Identifying and Addressing Food Insecurity in Older Adults through Comprehensive Screening and Referral Programs

Authors: Jennifer Mandelbaum, MPH

Abstract

Food insecurity is a growing issue among older adults, with evidence indicating that 7.7% of adults ages 65 and older in the United States in 2017 lived in a food-insecure household.1 Between 2001 and 2017, the number of older adults who are food insecure more than doubled, reaching 5.5 million.1 Recentstudies have shown that food insecurity has reached unprecedented levels since the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, making food insecurity an especially timely issue.2

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References

1. Ziliak JP, Gundersen C. The state of senior hunger in America 2017: an annual report. https://www.feedingamerica.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/state-of-senior-hunger-2017_full-report.pdf. Published May 2019. Accessed March 10, 2022.
 
2. Wolfson JA, Leung CW. Food insecurity during COVID-19: an acute crisis with long-term health implications. Am J Public Health 2020;110:1763–1765.
 
3. Posner BM, Jette AM, Smith KW, et al. Nutrition and health risks in the elderly: the nutrition screening initiative. Am J Public Health 1993;83:972–978.
 
4. Stenmark SH, Steiner JF, Marpadga S, et al. Lessons learned from implementation of the food insecurity screening and referral program at Kaiser Permanente Colorado. Perm J 2018;22:18–093.
 
5. Frongillo EA. Advancing knowledge of how and why food insecurity is associated with poor well-being in families and individuals across the life course. J Acad Nutr Diet 2019;119:1621–1622.
 
6. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Number of people in thousands, United States, 1996–2017. Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. https://www.meps.ahrq.gov/mepstrends/hc_use/. Accessed February 23, 2020.