Spotlight on Senior Health

Spotlight on Health: nutrition assistance program for seniors

The Spotlight on Senior Health: Adverse Health Outcomes of Food Insecure Older Americans research study documents the health and nutrition implications of food insecurity among seniors aged 60 and older. The study reveals that senior food insecurity is associated with lower nutrient intake and an increased risk for chronic health conditions.

Compared to food secure seniors, food insecure seniors are:

  • 60 percent more likely to experience depression
  • 53 percent more likely to report a heart attack
  • 52 percent more likely to develop asthma
  • 40 percent more likely to report an experience of congestive heart failure

In addition, Spotlight on Senior Health highlights that the senior population is particularly vulnerable to the negative health and nutrition implications of food insecurity compared to other adult age groups.

The Spotlight on Senior Health Executive Summary (PDF) was released jointly by Feeding America and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). The research findings are based on analyses of senior-specific data from two sources: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the Core Food Security Module (CFSM). Dr. Craig Gundersen and Dr. James Ziliak conducted these analyses for their 2014 report entitled “Food Insecurity and Health among Senior Americans.” This research project was generously supported by HMS.

Read the executive summary (PDF).