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Health Indicator Report of Food Insecurity

Inconsistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food can have a negative impact on the health of individuals of all ages. The USDA estimates that as of 2016, 328,000 people, including nearly 125,000 children, in New Mexico are food insecure. That means 1 in 6 individuals (16%) and 1 in 4 children (26%) live in homes without consistent access to adequate food for everyone to live healthy, active lives. In the US, adults in food insecure households are much more likely than food secure adults to have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health problems. Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children because they are more vulnerable to potential long-term consequences for their future physical and mental health and academic achievement.

Data Source

U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, as presented in the Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report. Downloaded from http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america.

Data Interpretation Issues

Food insecurity is based on a series of questions on the U.S. Current Population Survey called the "Core Food Security Module." The module asks about a variety of food security conditions (e.g., worried food would run out, could not afford balanced meal, did not eat for a whole day because they could not afford enough food, etc.). Food insecurity was measured by the number of food insecure conditions experienced in the household and the frequency with which each condition was experienced in that household. "Food Insecurity" includes households with low and very low food security. for more information, visit the USDA Economic Research Service, [http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-security-in-the-united-states.aspx Food Security in the United States] web page.

Definition

Food insecurity refers to USDA's measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household's need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

Numerator

The number of persons living in food-insecure households.

Denominator

The number of persons in the population.

Other Objectives

New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

How Are We Doing?

The USDA estimates that as of 2016, 328,000 people, including nearly 125,000 children, in New Mexico are food insecure. That means 1 in 6 individuals (16%) and 1 in 4 children (26%) live in homes without consistent access to adequate food. McKinley and San Juan Counties had the highest rates of food insecurity.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2015, the top five states with the highest rate of food-insecure children under 18 were Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, Alabama, and Arizona.

What Is Being Done?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) play a critical role in helping low-income families break out of the cycle of hunger and diet-related disease. Both programs augment households? food budgets, allowing them to purchase more healthful foods, and provide nutrition education to participants.
Page Content Updated On 05/24/2018, Published on 05/24/2018
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site (http://ibis.health.state.nm.us). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Tue, 19 June 2018 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.health.state.nm.us".

Content updated: Thu, 24 May 2018 16:27:19 MDT