THURSDAY, May 8, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- One-quarter of U.S.
veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have trouble getting
enough access to enough food, according to new research.
The researchers, from the University of Minnesota and the
Minneapolis Department of Veterans Affairs, surveyed 922 veterans
who served in Iraq or Afghanistan since October 2001 and had made
at least one outpatient visit to the Minneapolis VA Health Care
"We found that 27 percent of veterans who served in the wars in
Iraq and Afghanistan don't have consistent access to sufficient
food," study leader Rachel Widome from the University of Minnesota,
said in a university news release.
"That's drastically higher than the prevalence of food
insecurity in the U.S., which is 14.5 percent," she noted.
The study found that the veterans most likely to have trouble
getting enough to eat are: young; have a low income; live with
children; are not married/partnered; are not employed/on active
duty; have poor general health; and had a lower final military pay
In addition, food-insecure veterans are also more likely to
binge drink frequently, use tobacco and get less sleep than those
who have enough food, according to the study published May 7 in the
Public Health Nutrition.
"It is unacceptable that so many men and women who fought for
our country struggle to afford food now that they are back home,"
Widome said. "We hope this research prompts discussion on how to
help veterans currently struggling to access food."
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
veterans and military health.