Food Insecurity Research

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Poor Nutrition Effects Mental Health Food insecurity is associated with more than a two-fold increase in mental health problems of adolescents (Poole-Di Salvo, Silver, & Stein, 2016). Factors that can affect mental health disorders include low socioeconomic status, food insecurity, food desert communities, and a lack of nutrition. Some of the mental health disorders that play a role in nutrition are depression, suicidal ideation, and eating disorders. Nurses can make a difference by educating the community regarding how food and nutrition can improve mental health. Factors Low socioeconomic status is one-factor influencing mental health. With a low income, there is the struggle with food insecurity. Food insecurity is a limited or uncertain …show more content…

When families are unable to eat nutritious food, they are lacking the minimum daily vitamins and mineral requirements. The adequate amounts of carbohydrates, B vitamins, minerals, folate, and water is crucial for improving mood (Dunne, 2012). Complex carbohydrates such as legumes and some vegetables are broken down slowly to provide energy over time to help stabilize blood sugar levels and stabilize mood (Dunne, 2012). Simple carbohydrates such as baked goods, candy, and fruit drinks are broken down more quickly and have very little nutrient value. Niacin is a B vitamin that can be obtained from meat, fish, legumes, and milk. A deficiency in niacin may result in confusion, insomnia, and depression (Dunne, 2012). Folate can be found in enriched bread and grains. People with a deficiency in folate are more likely to be diagnosed with depression (Dunne, 2012). Selenium sources include fish, eggs, and whole grains. A deficiency in selenium influences mood, such as anxiety and depression (Dunne, 2012). Water is essential and a deficit can cause dehydration. Some symptoms of dehydration consist of drowsiness, loss of concentration, and …show more content…

Adolescents with eating disorders have a lack of nutrients such as omega-6 fatty acid, starch, vitamin A, and vitamin E (Allen, Mori, Beilin, 2013). An adolescent may be overweight from eating low nutrient dense foods and suffer from binge eating due to poor body image. Someone may also binge eat due to the lack of food on the table, and therefore binge on food once it is finally provided. Many families do not have food on the table every day for every meal, consequently, a child may binge eat at school if they are provided free lunch due to low socioeconomic

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that food insecurity is associated with more than a two-fold increase in mental health problems of adolescents. mental health disorders include depression, suicidal ideation, and eating disorders.
  • Explains that nurses educate communities about nutrition, mental health, and overall health. not all nurses have a broad understanding in these areas and need to continue their education.
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