According to professor Di Fang of the University of Arkansas, the psychological effects of food insecurity can be detrimental. People experiencing food insecurity are at a 257% higher risk for anxiety and a 253% higher risk for depression, via BMC Public Health. Along with these, the University of Texas study also concluded that lack of access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated poorer mental well-being due to the social cut-off during the pandemic’s unusually prolonged period of isolation.
Another study led by Rachel F. McCloud of the Center for Community-Based Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston found similar results. The team of researchers monitored the online activities and technological efficiency of a sample of users from low socioeconomic statuses (via the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association). Similarly to the University of Texas study, McCloud’s study found that the impacts of lack of technology also extended to poorer urban communities. Due to internet connectivity issues and lower average technological literacy, people trying to access health care information via the internet were placed at a substantial disadvantage to their technologically-fluent peers with access to higher-quality equipment with fewer glitches and subsequent setbacks.
The study concluded that “communication inequalities deepen health disparities” as different communities are granted access to crucial resources and other communities are not. During the pandemic, in the U.S., socioeconomic demographics determined the quality of health care at a person’s disposal.