Exploring the Social and Demographic Contexts of Food Insecurity among Older Adults in the United States
Food Insecurity in the United States is a growing public health program for people of all ages, but especially for older adults when the social context of food “access” if examined closely. Some have argued that older adults with lower average incomes have higher access to support, and therefore more food security, but real access to healthy, fresh, affordable food involves not just eligibility for supplemental food support, but a much broader and more complex set of income, geographic, behavioral, and physical factors. When other income measures, beyond the standard Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are used to determine “poverty” rates among older adults in the U.S. the risk for food insecurity is clearly higher. Similarly, when other demographic factors (e.g. urbanization and growing ethnic diversity) are considered in our models of population aging, we see other factors emerging that raise the risk for older adults in the U.S.