Research conducted by Children’s HealthWatch and reported on by Feeding America finds strong ties to nutrition and overall health and well-being:
- Food-insecure children are 90% more likely to have their overall health reported as “fair/poor” rather than “excellent/good” than kids from food-secure homes.
- Food insecurity is linked to increased hospitalizations, developmental problems, headaches, stomachaches and even colds.
- When children eat breakfast, they tend to consume more nutrients and experience lower obesity rates.
- Hunger in childhood has been linked to significant health problems in adulthood.
The True Cost of Hunger
The national cost of hunger: According to a report by the Center for American Progress and Brandeis University, “hunger costs our nation at least $167.5 billion due to the combination of lost economic productivity per year, more expensive public education because of the rising costs of poor education outcomes, avoidable health care costs, and the cost of charity to keep families fed.”
[Center for American Progress, Hunger in America]
The individual cost of hunger:
The Center for American Progress’ Hunger in America report calculated that “the impact of being held back a grade or more in school resulting from hunger and its threat resulted in $6.9 billion in lost income for 2009 dropouts in 2010 and that high school absenteeism led to a loss of $5.8 billion, also in 2010. In total, food insecurity led to a loss of $19.2 billion in [life-time] earnings in 2010.”
[Hunger In America]
In 2010, “it cost every citizen $542 due to the far-reaching consequences of hunger in our nation.” If the number of hungry Americans remains constant, “each individual’s bill for hunger in our nation will amount to about $42,400” on a lifetime basis.
[Hunger In America]
A breakdown of the cost of hunger:
According to the Center for American Progress, the annual cost of hunger or its threat (i.e. “food insecurity) includes:
$130.5 billion: Illness costs linked to hunger and food insecurity an America.
$19.2 billion: Value of poor educational outcomes and lower lifetime earnings linked to hunger and food insecurity in America.
$17.8 billion: Value of charitable contributions to address hunger and food insecurity in America.
[Center for American Progress]