Trending Topics pieces (Article Analyses, Evidence Clips and Other Topics) are published in timely response to recent media and journal articles, position statements, clinical guidelines, etc. Since they are based on the most recent evidence/publications, they may not be consistent with PEN evidence in other PEN content areas. As soon as possible, when this occurs, the PEN content will be reviewed and updated as needed.
Food Insecurity and Chronic Disease
A recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture describes the negative impact poor nutrition can have on an adult's health. The report, Food Insecurity, Chronic Disease, and Health Among Working-Age Adults used 2011-2015 data obtained from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a source for national statistics on the health of the U.S. population. The report examined food insecurity as a predictor of health among working adults (41,854 total adults from households; ages 19-64 years) living at or below 200% of the U.S. federal poverty line. The differences in health outcomes (related to 10 chronic diseases) across the range of household food insecurity: high, marginal, low and very low were examined. Food insecurity was found to be significantly associated with all 10 of the chronic diseases studied. Individuals with low and very low food insecurity had higher rates of high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, asthma, diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, hepatitis, stroke and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These changes in disease prevalence rates by food insecurity status were statistically significant for all of the conditions studied. For all of these diseases, an individual's food insecurity predicted chronic illness rates in a dose-response way. As food security changed from food secure through to highly food insecure, the disease prevalence was higher as food insecurity worsened, with the highest rates for each of these diseases most prevalent among individuals with very low food security.
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Two Actions on Global Hunger and Malnutrition
A Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) has been proclaimed by the United Nations Global Assembly. They call on WHO, FAO, governments, agencies, academia, private industry to work together to eliminate hunger and improve nutrition. In addition, the International Food Policy Research Institute has released the 2016 Global Food Policy Report reviewing changes and trends in food security and how the global food system must be efficient and sustainable while also reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
Global Study on BMI Trends
A new article analyzed BMI trends from 1975 to 2014 in 200 countries and calculated that there is zero probability that global obesity targets, set for 2025, will be met if post-2000 trends continue. Further, the study found that by 2025 that 18% of men and 21% of women globally would be obese. Also of note was the persistence of underweight in parts of Africa and Asia which needs attention as it is associated with increased morbidity, mortality and poor pregnancy outcomes.