Food insecurity among veterans: Findings from the health and retirement study


DOI: 10.1007/s12603-017-0910-7

Cite this article as:
Brostow, D.P., Gunzburger, E. & Thomas, K.S. J Nutr Health Aging (2017). doi:10.1007/s12603-017-0910-7



We examined the prevalence of food insecurity in an older population, specifically assessing factors associated with food insecurity among U.S. military Veterans.


Data from the 2012 wave of the Health and Retirement Study and the 2013 Health Care and Nutrition Mail Survey of 2560 male participants (1254 Veterans) were used to estimate the prevalence of food insecurity and to identify significant predictors of food insecurity among male Veterans.


Among male Veterans, 6.4% reported food insecurity, compared to 11.9% of male non-veterans (p < 0.01). Younger age, difficulty with daily activities and depression were significantly associated with increased odds of food insecurity among male Veterans aged 50 to 64. In male Veterans age 65 years and older, current smoking, a psychiatric diagnosis and depression were significantly associated with increased odds of food insecurity.


This study identified significant factors that may be used to target interventions to improve nutritional status among older male Veterans

Key words

Food insecurity hunger veterans older population elderly 

Supplementary material

12603_2017_910_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 24.9 KB.

Copyright information

© Serdi and Springer-Verlag France 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana P. Brostow
    • 1
  • E. Gunzburger
    • 1
    • 2
  • K. S. Thomas
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation for Veteran-Centered and Value-Driven CareDenver VA Medical CenterDenverUSA
  2. 2.University of Colorado School of Public HealthAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Center of Innovation in Long-Term Services and SupportsProvidence VA Medical CenterProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Center for Gerontology and Healthcare ResearchBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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