Food Insecurity in the United States

Volume 110, Issue 9, Pages 1368-1377 (September 2010)

This paper was retired December 31, 2014, and was reaffirmed to be updated. This paper remains in effect until the updated paper is published on and the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that systematic and sustained action is needed to achieve food and nutrition security for all in the United States. To eliminate food insecurity, interventions are needed, including adequate funding for and increased utilization of food and nutrition assistance programs, inclusion of food and nutrition education in such programs, and innovative programs to promote and support individual and household economic self-sufficiency. More than 49 million individuals living in the United States experienced food insecurity in 2008. Negative nutrition and non–nutrition-related outcomes have been associated with food insecurity in children, adolescents, and adults, including substandard academic achievement, inadequate intake of key nutrients, poor health, increased risk for and development of chronic disease, poor disease management, and poor psychological and cognitive functioning. Registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, registered, can play key roles in ending food insecurity and are uniquely positioned to make valuable contributions through provision of comprehensive food and nutrition education; competent and collaborative practice; innovative research related to accessing a safe, secure, and sustainable food supply; and advocacy efforts at the local, state, regional, and national levels.

For additional information on food insecurity among older adults, see Food and Nutrition Programs for Community-Residing Older Adults, the position of the American Dietetic Association, the American Society for Nutrition, and the Society for Nutrition Education (March 2010).