Hunger is not just a moral problem; it is also a health problem.
A food-insecure household struggles through cycles of deprivation and poor nutrition. When facing a gap in the food budget, these families often purchase cheaper, more-filling processed foods before healthier meats and produce – a conscious choice to mortgage long-term health against the near-term specter of hunger.
The cycles of need created by insufficient paychecks or government benefits worsen these situations by training the body to binge when food is available, and store fat when it is scarce.
If a family cannot avoid hunger, the resulting lack of nutrients reduces the body’s defenses against sickness, contributing to depressed student achievement, lowered worker productivity and avoidable health care costs. All together, these effects cost Texas an estimated $9.8 Billion annually.
For a fuller understanding of the links between hunger and health, read the following: