Nobel Peace Prize: ‘Food insecurity is integral to a stable community’

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University professor Sera Young, a global expert on food and water insecurity, is available to comment on the impact of hunger in today’s world.

Earlier today, the World Food Programme, a U.N. agency, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in combating hunger and improving conditions for peace in conflict areas. 

Quote from Professor Young

“Food security is fundamental to a happy childhood, a peaceful home and a stable community. Food insecurity harms child development, increases anxiety and depression, exacerbates physical ailments and hampers economic development.”

She can be contacted directly at

Young is an associate professor of anthropology and global health and a faculty fellow with the University’s Institute for Policy Research. She has a Ph.D. in international nutrition from Cornell University. Methodologically, she draws on her training in nutrition and medical anthropology to take a biocultural approach to understanding how mothers, especially in low-resource settings, cope to preserve their health and that of their families. She has studied food insecurity for the last 15 years.

Most recently, she has led efforts to develop the Household Water InSecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale, a cross-culturally valid tool to measure household water insecurity. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and received funding from NSF, NIH and the Thrasher Research Fund, among others. Awards include an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship (2019) and the Margaret Mead Award for her book about pica, “Craving Earth.”

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