Children need nutritious food so they can grow, develop and focus on learning, and food insecurity inhibits this growth. Lower math scores, 40% greater chances of repeating a grade, higher rates of developmental impairments: these are all effects of food insecurity on Idaho’s youngest residents. In turn, these conditions lead to poorer physical quality of life, higher risk of falling behind in school, lower test scores, and a greater likelihood of exhibiting behavioral problems.
For kids who experience it, the effects of food insecurity do not stop there. Children with food insecurity are at higher risk of numerous conditions, including asthma, development delays, iron deficiency anemia, mental health problems, and a generally lower health status. Even short stretches of these chronic conditions can inhibit a child’s growth for years to come.
While children may be the most vulnerable to the effects of food insecurity, they are not alone. Food insecurity elevates adults’ risks of:
- Heart Disease
Seniors with food insecurity have higher rates of:
- Congestive heart failure
- Low muscle mass
- Impaired cognition
These conditions cause human suffering by themselves, and they also lead to increased risk for falls, limited mobility and reduced ability for independent living.