In 2014, more than 10 million adults aged 60 and older in the United States were at risk of hunger or were food insecure, meaning that they lacked access to enough nutritious foods to lead a healthy, active lifestyle. From 2001 to 2014, food insecurity among older adults increased by 47 percent.
The linkages between food insecurity, poor nutrition, and poor health outcomes are well established in the literature. Food insecurity among older adults is associated with poor nutrition and poor health status, as well as greater likelihood of activity limitations and higher prevalence of chronic conditions, medication non-adherence, and hospital readmissions.
Routine food security screening and referral in primary care practice is one avenue to identify and address food insecurity. This issue brief, done in collaboration with AARP Foundation, sought to identify models for food security screening and referral that could be implemented with older adult patients in primary care practice.