Reuters: Health | Mon Aug 10, 2015
by Kathryn Doyle
Reuters Health) - People with severe food insecurity, who struggle the most to put food on the table, have healthcare costs more than twice as high as people who are food secure, according to a new Canadian study.
People who have food insecurity, meaning inadequate or insecure access to food due to low income, “have poorer (physical and mental) health, this is documented extensively for adults and children,” said lead author Valerie Tarasuk of the University of Toronto.
“We finally have been able to quantify the healthcare expenditures associated with it,” Tarasuk told Reuters Health by phone.
In countries like the U.S., low income might be tied to both food insecurity and poorer access to the healthcare system, which would complicate the analysis, she said. But in Canada, low income people have equal access to the publicly funded health system.