Food insecurity among health care workers in the US
Food insecurity, or the lack of access to an adequate supply of nutritious food, is associated with poor health outcomes including diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Food insecurity research has grown in the past two decades and has spurred efforts in the US health care system to “screen and intervene” for patient food insecurity. Using nationally representative data from the period 2013–18, this study is the first to our knowledge to investigate the prevalence of food insecurity for the health care workforce, an industry that ranges from low-skill, low-wage hourly jobs to highly specialized salaried positions. We found that relative to health diagnosing and treating practitioners, the odds of being food insecure were 5.1 times higher for health care support workers and 2.5 times higher for health technologists and technicians. The health care industry is the largest and fastest-growing US employer, and it is vital that leaders and policy makers address food insecurity among the health care workforce.
Srinivasan M, Cen X, Farrar B, Pooler JA, Fish T. Food insecurity among health care workers in the US. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021 Sep;40(9):1449-1456. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2021.00450. PMID: 34495718.