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Hunger, Nutrition and Health

API Staff

Dec 31, 2022

On July 17, 2014 a live interactive phone call conference was held. The latest research on the relationship between hunger and diet-related diseases was discussed.

Panel included, Hilary Seligman, MD, University of Calif, Marydale DeBor, JD, Fresh Advantage LLC, David Just, PhD, Cornell University.

Did you know:

 As food insecurity increases at the end of the month, so do hospitalizations among low income individuals. Dr. Seligman’s research found a 27 percent increase in hospitalizations for hypoglycemia among low income during the last week of the month. This increased hypoglycemia among diabetics may be attributed to the exhaustion of SNAP benefits and may correlate with increased food pantry visits at the end of the month.

 How nutritional choices are presented influences eating behavior, but restricting choice can actually backfire. Telling people they cannot drink large sodas may prompt them to resist and drink more soda because their freedom was restricted. A more effective strategy to encourage healthy eating is to be purposeful about how we frame nutritional choices. For example, Dr. Just’s research found that people typically eat all of something labeled regular size but will eat about 75% of something called a double portion – even if it’s the same serving size.

 Switching to healthy food service operations can reduce hospital readmission rates, and screening for food insecurity helps connect patients with proper care. Nutrition is an important element of the continuum of care. Providing healthy food in health care settings reduces relapse and readmission rates to hospitals. But providing nutritious food during a hospital visit isn’t enough for families who struggle to obtain enough food at home. Screening for food insecurity allows health care providers to connect households with assistance and better manage diet-related disease.

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