Executive Summary: An Avoidable $2.4 Billion Cost: The Estimated Health-Related Costs of Food Insecurity and Hunger in Massachusetts

Hunger is a health issue. Research clearly demonstrates that food insecurity negatively impacts the health of children and adults. Food insecurity and hunger are associated with low birth weight, impaired brain development, malnutrition, hospitalizations, mental health issues, diabetes and heart problems.1,2 Using modeling systems, researchers at Children’s HealthWatch simulated healthcare and educational costs of food insecurity in Massachusetts and the monetary burden it places on individuals, families, and healthcare payers. In a 2016 report,3 Children’s HealthWatch researchers estimated the health-related costs of food insecurity in the United States to be $160 billion.