Food insecurity costs MA $2.4 billion in healthcare

Published on February 21, 2018

New research—the first of its kind for Massachusetts—shows hunger and food insecurity in our state increased health-related expenditures by an estimated $2.4 billion at least, in 2016 alone.

This eye-opening figure reflects the avoidable costs of doctor’s visits, hospital stays, emergency room treatment, prescription medications, home healthcare, and much more associated with food insecurity. It also includes lost work time, low productivity, premature death and special education expenditures—indirect costs that sap the economic health of our state.

The study, conducted by Children’s HealthWatch and sponsored by The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), used the most recent peer-reviewed research on food insecurity and its adverse effects on health conditions, and the most up-to-date data on the costs of treating health conditions in Massachusetts.

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