Three-quarters of people over age 50 in the United States say the rising cost of groceries has affected them somewhat or a lot, and nearly a third say they’re eating less healthily because of increased food costs, according to new poll findings.
But food cost inflation has hit certain groups of older adults harder, the poll suggests – especially individuals who rate their physical or mental health as fair or poor, and those in lower-income households or with fewer years of formal education.
The new findings come from a national poll conducted in late July by the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging, based at the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
“For our most vulnerable older adults, the huge increase we’ve seen in food costs could make a bad situation worse,” says Preeti Malani, M.D., director of the poll and a physician at Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center. “As the White House convenes its Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health this week, these new findings suggest a need for better support of the food needs of adults over 50.”