Healthify Blog

The Effects of Food Insecurity on Health Outcomes and Costs

Over the last 25 years, research has shown that social determinants of health have powerful effects on health outcomes, particularly food insecurity. Those who are food-insecure lack access to affordable and healthy foods, which has adverse effects on health and development. Maintaining a healthy diet becomes a subsidiary concern when there are multiple unmet social needs to address but social service programs offered by community partners can help address those unmet needs.

Topics: food insecurity Community Based Organizations Social Determinants of Health

Food Insecurity: How Major Cities Are Managing $77.5 Billion

Studies have shown that there is a significant link between food insecurity and higher health care costs in the US. Those with food insecurity were found to incur an extra $1,863 in health care expenditures ($77.5 billion in additional health care expenses annually). And while we have previously written about the negative health effects of food insecurity and combatting food deserts in our blog, Healthify Insights, we have yet to dive deeply into the efforts that have been made to address this costly issue. As such, we have compiled fours years worth of Healthify's food insecurity data, enriched with data from the US Census Bureau and other publicly available sources, to understand the correlation between food insecurity and other socioeconomic factors across three metropolitan cities: Seattle; New York; and Philadelphia. Our report also investigates how food insecurity is being managed across these cities.

Topics: Social Determinants of Health Social needs food insecurity

Overcoming Summer Food Insecurity

Food insecurity for school-aged children reaches its most acute point just when those students should be relaxing and enjoying a break – summer time. Each year when schools let out, millions of children across the U.S. are left without the subsidized breakfast and lunch programs that provide them with the nutritious and filling foods that are vital building blocks for their physical and cognitive development. This summer gap can further disadvantage lower-income students from their peers. 

Topics: food insecurity Education Childhood Development

Shifting Focus: New Strategies to Fight Food Deserts

In recent years the concept of food deserts, commonly defined as areas with low car ownership combined with few or no supermarkets located within a mile, has become a focus of politicians and public health professionals looking to improve health outcomes in low-income communities.

Topics: Food food insecurity Community Resources Food deserts