Americans from all income groups fall short of meeting federal dietary guidance — consuming diets too low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy, and consuming diets too high in added sugars, sodium, and solid fats (Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2015; Hiza et al., 2013; Rehm et al., 2016).

In general, poor dietary intake (e.g., excess saturated or trans fat intake, a diet low in fruits and vegetables) has been linked to a number of diseases and chronic conditions, including the following (Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2010; Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2015):

  • Cardiovascular disease;
  • Type 2 diabetes;
  • Obesity;
  • Some types of cancer; and
  • Osteoporosis.

In addition, inadequate dietary intake during pregnancy and early childhood — which may be a consequence of food insecurity — can increase the risk for (Black et al, 2011; Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2010; Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, 2015; Haider et al., 2013):

  • Birth defects;
  • Anemia;
  • Low birth weight;
  • Preterm birth; and
  • Developmental risk.