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Obesity and Food Insecurity: A Public Health Paradox

In September, the USDA issued a report with the finding that 14 percent of American households -- 17.4 million families -- were food insecure in 2014. "Food insecurity" means that these households had limited access to adequate food at some point during the year, due to lack of money or other resources. Last week, Hunger Action Month as well as Childhood Obesity Awareness Month came to a close. The convergence of these observances reflects a major public health problem in the United States today -- the widespread co-existence of obesity and hunger in people across the nation. Consider this: While 15.3 million children live in food insecure households, one-third of all American children are obese or overweight.