It’s almost lunchtime here. Time to take a break and regroup for the afternoon. I’m feeling just a bit guilty deciding where I want to eat—sit down, indoor or outdoor, fast food. I have options. However, I just read an article on seniors’ fear of going hungry. It seems inconceivable, but facts are facts.
Research conducted by Craig Gunderson, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois and James P. Ziliak, professor of economics at the University of Kentucky, noted that more than one in seven seniors (nearly 15 percent) faced the threat of hunger in 2010. In 2005, one in nine seniors went hungry.
Using national and state date from the Current Population Survey, the researchers found that food insecurity was greatest for the near-poor, whites, widows, non-metro residents, retirees, and women. Of concern is that poor nutrition is linked to poor health.
“We should be concerned when millions of our seniors are going hungry, and that there are serious health consequences associated with that. Any sort of comprehensive effort to decrease healthcare costs in the U.S. should also incorporate some discussion of how to decrease food insecurity,” says Gundersen.
Click here to access the study, which was supported by The Meals on Wheels Research Foundation.
Thankfully, the seniors you care for are not faced with this fear. They receive well-balanced, nutritious meals three times a day—and don’t forget the snacks. But as the agingr population continues to grow and the economy has hit seniors hard, is this a storm brewing on the horizon? What can we as individuals and an industry do to help?
Food for thought?