Food Stats2018-07-08T23:26:54+00:00

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Food Insecurity

  • In 2014, 1/7 Americans, including 1/5 children and 1/10 seniors.
  • 48.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households in 2014
  • A total of 17.4 million households across the US were food insecure in 2014
  • 6.9 million of those had very low security
  • Households with children experience significantly higher food insecurity than those without
  • Over a third of households headed by single women had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average
  • Almost a quarter of households headed by single men had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average
  • One in four black and Hispanic households had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average
  • Food insecurity exists in every county in the US, from 4% in Slope County, ND to 33% in Humphreys County, MS


  • No other place on the planet has cheaper food than the US
  • Americans spend 5.5% of their disposable income on food at home – less than half that spent by Germans (11.4%), the French (13.6%) and Italians (14.4%)
  • Americans spend the same amount of their disposable income on food now as they did during the Great Depression
  • Consumers in Kenya and Pakistan spend almost half their disposable income on food. Americans spend less than an eighteenth of theirs
  • There is no such thing as cheap food – the real cost is to the environment, the public purse in the form of subsidies or to your health


  • Every two out of three adults across the United States are diagnosed with a chronic disease
  • More than three in every four dollars of healthcare money is spent on managing and treating chronic conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, infertility, hypertension, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety, stress can all be controlled and avoided with healthy lifestyle and exercise
  • The treatment of the seven most common chronic diseases, coupled with productivity losses, costs the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion dollars annually
  • Between now and 2030, up to $66 billion will be added to current healthcare costs each year
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the US


  • Americans are the biggest consumer of weight loss products in the world, yet lead the world in obesity and unhealthy lifestyle
  • The number of overweight or obese children and adolescents in America has tripled since 1970
  • 250 million Americans are overweight and obese. 360 000 Americans die every year from diseases directly related to obesity and unhealthy lifestyle
  • Over 1/3 of American children are overweight or obese
  • One in four US children spend four or more hours watching TV daily instead of being physically active
  • Because of alarming obesity rates, this generation of children will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents


  • An estimated 25 – 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed
  • When food is disposed in a landfill it rots and becomes a significant source of methane – a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide
  • If we cut food waste by a quarter, there would be enough for everyone to eat
  • The greatest challenge to achieving food security is wastage – 45% of all fruit and veg and 20% of meat is wasted