Poverty, food insecurity, and nutritional outcomes in children and adults

Jayanta Bhattacharya, Janet Currie, Steven Haider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

394 Scopus citations


Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we examine the relationship between nutritional status, poverty, and food insecurity for household members of various ages. Our most striking result is that, while poverty is predictive of poor nutrition among preschool children, food insecurity does not provide any additional predictive power for this age group. Among school age children, neither poverty nor food insecurity is associated with nutritional outcomes, while among adults and the elderly, both food insecurity and poverty are predictive. These results suggest that researchers should be cautious about assuming connections between food insecurity and nutritional outcomes, particularly among children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-862
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Policy


  • Food insecurity
  • I12
  • I32
  • Nutrition
  • Poverty


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