Monday, November 24, 2014



I was at a community get together last Thursday and we were talking about passion. We were going around and telling everyone about our passion in life. People had lots of really great passions from horse-back riding to helping the elderly with activities of daily living.  My passion is insecurity.
What does it mean to be insecure?
Insecure, according to Oxford dictionary (n.d.) means, if talking about a ‘thing’: “not firm or set; unsafe.” If talking about a person it means “not confident or assured; uncertain and anxious.”
Are you insecure?
I am not talking about those general feelings of being uncertain if you look okay; if you said the right thing at the meeting or if someone doesn’t like you.  I am talking about being food insecure.
Do you know what it is to be food insecure?
The USDA (2014) categorizes food insecurity into two different domains. Someone is said to have low food security if they have “reports of reduced quality, variety or desirability of diet with little or no indication of reduced food intake”. At the more severe level, very low food security is when there are “multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake” (USDA, 2014).
What does this all mean? How does it translate into real life?
Food insecurity is not the same thing as hunger – although it can result in hunger.  Food insecurity is more about what happens when there is uncertainty,  anxiety and worry that comes as a result of not knowing where your next meal is coming from.  According to the USDA (2014), over 80% of US household adults who were classified as food insecure could not afford a balanced meal and were worried their food would run out. Over 60% of US household adults were hungry but did not eat and when they did, they ate less than they felt they should. And perhaps the cruelest irony is that food insecurity results in a greater risk of obesity than food security (Food Research and Action Center, 2010).
Of course there are nutrition and health lessons to be learned here, but I want to encourage you to take the first step. Not as a health professional, but as a caring human being. Pay attention to the food and nutrition needs of your community. Support your local foods banks. When they say they need food, they really do. Finally, if you find yourself fitting into the category of being food insecure, seek out your local resources to see who can help you get a little more stability in your diet.
So, let’s all take time this week to be thankful for what we have and share whatever we can with whomever we can!

Insecure. (n.d.) In Oxford English Dictionary Online, Retrieved November 24, 2014, from
United States Department of Agriculture. (September 3, 2014). Definitions of Food Security. Retrieved from
Food Research and Action Center. (2010). Why Low-income and Food Insecure People are Vulnerable to Overweight and Obesity. Retrieved from


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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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