UTSA Research: Connection Between 'Food Insecurity' and Violence

As society struggles to find a cause for the violence that plagues society, from school shootings to random street crimes, research by a UTSA professor may help, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Dylan Jackson, a professor in UTSA's Department of Criminal Justice, says there is a clear connection between a family experiencing what is called 'food insecurity,' and the presence of violence in a child's life.

"When food is lacking in the household across a number of years, and a number of time points, the risk of violence went up almost 500%," he said.

Dr. Jackson's research, which was done in conjunction with three collaborators and recently published in a peer reviewed journal, doesn't directly link food insecurity to violence, but indicates that food insecurity leads to other pathologies that spark violence in the life of a young person, like domestic violence.

"Its a nationally representative sample, so it can be applied to the population of the United States," he said.  "It is also a longitudinal study, which means these individuals were followed for several years."

He says food insecurity as a child makes the child six times more likely to grow up to be a violent teenager, and a violent adult.

He says this indicates that violence should not be treated 'in a silo,' by itself, but any effort to deal with the violent society also should include a discussion of the causes of that violence.

"Maybe we need to think of these separate issues in terms of public policy like diet and violence as inter related," he said.

News Radio 1200 WOAI · San Antonio's News, Traffic and Weather

Listen Now on iHeartRadio

outbrain pixel