Impact of Food Insecurity on Health and Wellbeing

12/10/2016 00:00

The Cost of Healthy Eating in Saskatchewan 2015 Food insecurity is one of the many social factors that impacts health and wellbeing. The social factors that impact our health are known as the social determinants of health. The impacts of food insecurity on health and wellbeing include:  Birth outcomes and maternal health; nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy and infancy affect cognition, behavior, and productivity throughout the school years and adulthood. Food insecurity during pregnancy increases the risk of health problems, such as gestational diabetes and birth defects.  Child and youth development; Food insecure children and youth have more behavioural, emotional, and academic problems than children and youth who are food secure. Childhood food insecurity is linked to lifelong poor health .  Chronic disease; Food insecurity results in higher rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression and high blood pressure.  Mental health and emotional wellbeing; Both children and adults experience higher rates of stress, anxiety, social isolation, depression and suicidal thoughts when they experience food insecurity. The impacts of food insecurity on health and wellbeing result in higher rates of healthcare utilization and costs. This includes increased use and cost for inpatient hospital care, emergency department visits, physician services, same day surgeries, homecare services and prescription drugs.