Both extremes are bad

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about obesity. But there’s another extreme that’s food related. It doesn’t get a lot of press, because it’s hard to image that people go hungry in the richest country in the world. But food insecurity exists in the US, and it’s far more common than you likely think:

The percentage of Americans reporting that they had enough money to buy the food they or their families needed continued to decline in October, nearing the record low seen in November 2008. The percentage who did not lack money for food in 2011 fell to 79.8% from 80.1% in September, continuing a decline that began in April.

More than one in five Americans reported not having enough money to buy the food the they or their family needed. Unfortunately, there no data that separate out children, but I bet the numbers would be terrible. We already know that poverty rates for children are almost twice those of non-elderly adults, and closer to 2.5 times those for people over 65. So I imagine it’s likely that the percentage of children who are in families where buying food is an issue is higher than that represented above.

We shouldn’t forget this. You can’t make it a day without someone talking about the percentages of people who are overweight or obese. Almost no one talks about the many who can’t get enough.

(h/t Sarah Kliff Suzy Khimm)

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