Reports: Kentucky’s rate of older adult food insecurity highest in nation

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BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) – More older adults are hungry in Kentucky than any other state in the country, according to two new reports on hunger.

Feeding Kentucky released the two reports, “The Hunger Among Adults” and “The State of Senior Hunger in America,” both looking at the extent to which food insecurity, or lack of access to nutritious food, affects older adults in the United States.

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The Hunger Among Adults report finds that Kentucky has the highest rate in the nation of food insecurity among adults age 50-59. Nationally, the food insecurity rate among adults age 50-59 was 11.3 percent while in Kentucky the rate was 18.6 percent. The data are from 2017, the most recent year for which data are available.

The State of Senior Hunger report shows that in Kentucky’s 8.4 percent food insecurity rate for seniors age 60 or older was also higher than the national average of 7.7 percent in 2017, the most recent year for which data are available.

“The high rate of food insecurity among 50-59 year olds in Kentucky is very concerning, both on its own, and because of research showing that food insecurity is associated with many negative health outcomes,” said Dr. James Ziliak, Director of the University of Kentucky’s Center for Poverty Research and co-author of the reports. “Onset of poor health at this age portends greater challenges for aging in place as these older adults approach retirement.”

For the full reports, click here.