Social Determinants of Health: State Policy Efforts at Reducing Hunger

As increasing evidence illustrates the impact of social determinants on long term health, policy makers are instituting initiatives to drive change and improve outcomes for groups at risk.  Per a recent report by the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), state leaders are using a wide range of strategies – from covering healthy meals under Medicaid to contracting for nutritious foods for prisons, state offices buildings, and hospitals – to reduce food insecurity and expand access to wholesome food. The close relationship between food and well-being is well-established by research showing diet to be a major contributor to poor health in the United States.

According to NASHP, as states invest in the social and economic conditions that affect health upstream, state policymakers have a range of opportunities to leverage their purchasing, contracting, and convening power to increase access to healthy food. More states are requiring Medicaid managed care contractors to invest in the social factors affecting health–and healthy food policy is increasingly included in those efforts.

Source: National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP)

FMI Find out more about various State policy efforts to reduce nutrition inequity at THIS LINK