One-Third of US Homeless Population is Obese, According to New Study

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New research by Oxford University and Harvard Medical School, soon to be published in the Journal of Urban Health, suggests that 32.3 percent of the homeless population in the United States is obese — just slightly below the national average. The findings underscore what is referred to as "the hunger-obesity paradox," which refers to the phenomenon of people who suffer from hunger but — for reasons attributed to the high cost and relative inaccessibility of nutritious food and the low cost and relative ease of finding poor-quality food — are also obese.

Barbara DiPietro, the policy director of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, finds the results of this research largely unsurprising. Andrea De Mink, the founder and executive of the Indianapolis-based homelessness organization The PourHouse, deals on a daily basis with the most pressing concerns of homeless people, striving to offer her patrons with food that is as healthy as possible.