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‘I felt like I failed’: inflation puts healthy food out of reach for millions of Americans

The Guardian

September 30, 2022

Witnesses to Hunger New Haven member Kim Hart and Center Director Mariana Chilton were featured in an article highlighting the impact of inflation on food costs and how that is increasing the risk for diet-related diseases long-term. Over the past year, grocery prices have risen rapidly as agricultural supply chains bowed under the pressure of food scarcity, labor shortages, and high fuel costs.

“Highly processed foods are still the most affordable for people and they can stretch longer and they have a longer shelf life,” said Mariana Chilton. “People want to buy healthy food, but then they make the choice to get food that is not as healthy but that stays on the shelf longer and can stretch and helps their kids feel fuller.”

Public health experts emphasize that food insecurity takes more than just a physical toll – it can also have harmful psychological impacts.

“A lot of people just think about obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and yes, all of those can get exacerbated, but a lot of people tend to forget about the emotional consequences,” said Chilton.

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