Study: Food Insecurity Linked to Shorter Lifespan and Early Death Healthiest Community Health News

Study: Food Insecurity Linked to Shorter Lifespan and Early Death Healthiest Community Health News

People who experience food insecurity are at greater risk of dying prematurely and living shorter lives after age 50, researchers say, underscoring how a fairly common problem affects individual health.

The federal government says food insecurity is “limited or uncertain access to adequate food,” an economic and social condition that can lead to hunger. In an analysis published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that of more than 57,400 U.S. adults who participated in the study, 78.4% were completely food secure, while those with lower food security levels were 8.5%, 7.4% for those with low food safety level, and 5.6% for those with low food safety level. Percentage of people with very low levels of food security.

The researchers also found that fully food-secure individuals had a life expectancy of 32.5 years at age 50, compared with 29.9 years for adults with less food security, 30 years for those with low levels of food security, and 30 years for those with extremely food security. The lowest is 28 years old.

This means that adults with very low levels of food security will live 4.5 years less by age 50 than adults with complete food security, and researchers say around half of the loss in life expectancy may be attributable to deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer. .

The analysis, based on survey data from 1999 to 2018, also found that even marginal food insecurity is associated with a 50% higher risk of premature death, defined as dying before a person is 80 years old.

“The current findings could have significant public health implications,” the researchers wrote. “Our findings suggest that in addition to encouraging improvements in lifestyle and cardiovascular health, improving food security may also be a factor in curbing U.S. resident life expectancy. A way to stay stagnant.”

Average life expectancy in the United States rebounded for a little more than a year in 2022 after two consecutive declines, largely due to a decline in coronavirus-related deaths, interim data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. 19. Overall life expectancy at birth increased from 76.4 years in 2021 to 77.5 years in 2022.

Broken down by gender, new research finds that women with very low levels of food security live an average of 5.8 years shorter at age 50 than women with complete food security. Meanwhile, men with very low levels of food security have a life expectancy that is three years shorter than men who are completely food secure at that age threshold.

The researchers also found that “the association between food security levels and premature death appears to be stronger in women than in men.”

“In most cases, women have higher decision-making power than men regarding food purchasing and distribution within the household,” the researchers note. “This household role may put women at greater risk when facing food insecurity. There is a psychological burden, and some women may sacrifice their own nutritional intake to meet their family’s nutritional intake as much as possible.”

Researchers found that adults with lower levels of food security were more likely to be younger, black or Hispanic, have lower incomes, and were less likely to have health insurance. They are also more likely to smoke and have higher rates of conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

At the same time, the study appears to show that the correlation between food security and life expectancy is stronger for white adults than for black adults. For example, whites with very low levels of food security live an average of 6.2 years less at age 50 than whites with complete food security. Among black adults, the gap is only 2.3 years.

The researchers called the findings “somewhat surprising” and suggested they may be related to poor diet quality or the smaller sample size of people of color in the analysis.

Food security has long been recognized as one of the important social factors that help determine health outcomes. According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in October, nearly 13% of U.S. households, or 17 million households, will face food insecurity by 2022.

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