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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 2017, 326,000 people, including over 118,000 children, in New Mexico are food insecure. That means 1 in 6 individuals (15.5%) and 1 in 4 children (24%) live in homes without consistent access to adequate 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 Sources

  • U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. Downloaded from
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program,

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, [ Food Security in the United States] web page.


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.


The number of persons living in food-insecure households.


The number of persons in the population.
Page Content Updated On 04/29/2019, Published on 04/29/2019
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Fri, 23 July 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Mon, 29 Apr 2019 16:17:40 MDT