Food insecurity tied to increased cardiometabolic risks among Latino youth

A young girl stands in front of food bank

Latino and Hispanic youth experiencing food insecurity may be more likely to have unfavorable cardiovascular health indicators, according to research published in Pediatrics.  
As part of this study, researchers assessed data from 1,325 children, ages 8-16, participating in the Hispanic Community Children’s Health Study/Study of Latino Youth. They found that children living in households experiencing severe food insecurity were more likely to show early signs of having
cardiovascular disease risk factors. Examples include having lower HDL cholesterol, higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, or a greater waist circumference.  

While previous research has shown links between food insecurity and cardiovascular disease risks in adults, this is the first study to assess links between cardiovascular health and food insecurity among Latino/Hispanic children. The authors note that these findings may foreshadow future health trends among Hispanic/Latino youth following an increase in COVID-19-related food insecurity. The research was supported by the NHLBI.