Americans receiving food aid have much higher rates of diabetes and high blood pressure than the U.S. population as a whole, and some of the habits they resort to in order to stretch their dollars just make the situation worse. The nonprofit Feeding America surveyed 60,000 people who access meal and grocery programs around the country, and the study provides a comprehensive look at who is hungry and seeking help in America.
One aim of the study was to understand how Americans using food programs make their resources last for as long as possible.
How Hungry Americans Make Food Last
The most common practice might also be the greatest problem for Americans—almost 80 percent said that they bought unhealthy food. Processed junk foods are often cheaper than fresh food, and many low-income areas are considered “food deserts” because there is little access to affordable, healthy groceries. The alternative is to buy inexpensive, filling food that’s widely available—fast food, chips, and soda, for example. This practice contributes to the high rates of obesity among lower income populations in the country.