January 2016 Newsletter

At The Root Cause Coalition, we’re committed to bringing awareness to the issue of hunger and food insecurity and how hunger is a health issue that we can eliminate. While the human toll from hunger remains incalculable. One estimate puts related healthcare costs nationwide at a staggering $130.5 billion this year.

As an organization that launched just three months ago, our membership is growing rapidly as we’ve been joined by several organizations who are committed to ensuring our message resonates across the health care industry, and in other industries focused on improving health outcomes.

Since October, we’ve welcomed the American Hospital Association, the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, Loma Linda University Health, Community Servings (Massachusetts), and the Connecticut Mental Health Center as new members of the Coalition, and we look forward to your involvement as well. Visit our website for a complete list of events and summits planned for 2016, and mark your calendars now to attend DIAGNOSIS: Hunger hosted by The Root Cause Coalition and the Alliance to End Hunger, scheduled for April 4, 2016. Held in New York City, at the Westin New York Times Square in New York, this summit is free of charge and will feature perspectives from an array of experts, including keynote speakers: Administrator Audrey Rowe, Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Ken Anderson, DO, MS, CPE, Chief Operating Officer, Health Research & Educational Trust, American Hospital Association. Representatives from healthcare organizations, faith-based groups, the education community, and government institutes will gather to share best practices, offer community connections and resources, and advocate for food insecure individuals and families in the region and across the nation.

With such clear associations between food insecurity and poor health status among children, adults and seniors, our goal is to ensure hunger in our nation – and its effects – are better understood and made a priority across the healthcare industry.

We hope you’ll join us. Click here to register now and please share the date of this event with partners and colleagues. Working together and getting to the Root Cause of our nation’s most basic needs, we can end hunger and achieve better health for all.


Barbara J. Petee
Executive Director
View Upcoming Events

Research Highlights

Study Shows Improved Access Leads to Increase in Daily Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
In the New Year many people resolve to eat healthier, but for some low-income and minority populations, healthy foods aren’t easily accessible. Programs such as Fresh to You, a partnership that brings fresh produce markets into low-income neighborhoods, effectively improve accessibility and health outcomes. Results of this study showed that implementation of the Fresh to You program led to a significant increase in children’s daily fruit and vegetable consumption and improved families’ diets.

CDC Study Illustrates Need to Look at Full Picture of Social Determinants
Food insecurity is not the only social determinant of health, as housing insecurity also has an impact on health risk behaviors. This study from the CDC illustrates the importance of looking at the many different barriers people face when addressing health issues, and results showed that housing insecure respondents were about twice as likely as those who were not housing insecure to report poor or fair health status and delay doctors visits because of cost.

Study Shows Link Between Socioeconomic Status and Hypertension
Socioeconomic factors often have a direct impact on specific health issues, such as hypertension, and this study examined the association between income level and hypertension prevalence rates in a state’s population. Results of this study showed that states with lower median household income levels and a higher percentage of residents living below the poverty line were significantly associated with a higher prevalence of hypertension amongst their population.

Warning Labels on Sugary Drinks Could Reduce Parents’ Purchases
Labeling sugar-sweetened beverages could result in fewer parents purchasing them for their kids, finds a new study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, found that parents would be 20 percent less likely to select a sugary drink for their children if they saw such a warning.

The Root Cause Coalition newsletter is published monthly to provide updates on our work in addressing the social determinants of health, with specific emphasis on hunger as a public health issue, and our work on improving the health status of individuals and communities. If you would like more information, please be sure to visit our website at www.rootcausecoalition.org or contact us at [email protected] or [email protected]