Hunger and Health

Johnnie picking up bags of nutritious food for his family.

Food insecurity and health are intricately linked. People living in food insecure homes experience challenges in accessing nutritious foods and face barriers to consistently adopting healthy eating patterns. A poor quality diet that lacks nutritious food has detrimental effects on a person's physical and mental health. Poor nutrition can increase the risk of developing health problems, including diabetes and hypertension. Food insecurity also exacerbates the complex challenges of managing a chronic disease.

To access more resources on the intersection of food insecurity and health, visit


Food bank diabetes intervention improves food security outcomes
Diabetes Finger

To evaluate food bank interventions on outcomes for adults living with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, Feeding America conducted a randomized controlled research trial. After 6 months, participants experienced significant improvements in food security, dietary intake, and food stability, but no differences were observed in diabetes management.

Comprehensive Diabetes Self-Management Support From Food Banks: A Randomized Controlled Trial
2018, Feeding America and University of California, San Francisco


Changes in food pantry environment support healthier choices

Informed by the field of behavioral economics, nudges are environmental cues that aim to improve behavior. Evidence from this pilot suggests that clients select healthier foods when these cues were implemented.

The Power of Nudges: Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice in Food Pantries
2016, Feeding America and Cornell University 


Food banks are a promising partner in the fight against diabetes
Food bank

A two-year pilot project found that targeted programs for food insecure adults living with diabetes significantly improved a number of outcomes, including blood sugar control. This observational study provided early evidence for how food banks and health care providers can work together to improve outcomes in low-income communities.


A Pilot Food Bank Intervention Featuring Diabetes-Appropriate Food Improved Glycemic Control Among Clients In Three States
2015, Feeding America and University of California, San Francisco