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date: 16 January 2021

Hunger, Nutrition, and Food Programslocked

  • Kristine SiefertKristine SiefertKristine Siefert, MSW, Ph.D., MPH, is Professor Emerita of Social Work at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on identifying modifiable social, behavioral, and environmental determinants of health and mental health and on eliminating socioeconomic and racial/ethnic health disparities. Recent studies have addressed the impact of household food insufficiency on physical and mental health, environmental contributors to racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy outcome, the social context of oral health disparities, and the impact of discrimination and other stressors on African American women’s mental health. She has served in an advisory capacity or as an expert reviewer for numerous public health agencies and foundations and has served on the editorial board or as an occasional reviewer for more than 25 scientific and professional journals.

Summary

Food insecurity and hunger are serious problems around the world, with an estimated 870 million people chronically undernourished. The vast majority of these people—an estimated 14.9%—live in developing countries. Although federal food and nutrition assistance programs and the generally high standard of living in the United States have eliminated the more extreme forms of hunger found in developing countries, less severe but nonetheless serious forms of hunger and food insecurity affect millions of households. Food and nutrition programs require adequate funding, increased access, and further evaluation, but to achieve the goals of ending hunger and assuring food security for all, multisectoral strategies that address the macro-level determinants of food security are needed.

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