Pediatric clinicians are confronted daily with children whose health is at risk and whose bodies and brains may never reach
their highest potential if they continue to be exposed to food
insecurity. Food insecurity is a hidden hazard to children’s health
which we must rapidly identify and address.
•Poor Health Status
•Mental Health Problems
•Poor Educational Outcomes
Childhood food insecurity can lead to:
According to a 2015 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 42.2 million people live in food insecure households with 10.9 million of these households having "very low food security." What this means is that one or more people in the household were hungry over the course of the year because of the inability to afford enough food. Low food security was getting worse even before the recession – the number of people in this category in 2010 is nearly double the number in 2000.
Food insecurity is a critical child health issue that impacts children and families in all communities. In 2015, 13.1 million U.S. children lived in households without consistent access to adequate food for resource-related reasons. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) official definition of a food-insecure household is one in which “access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources.”
Food insecurity is not an isolated or concentrated phenomenon in the U.S., but rather, it impacts every state, every county, and every community. State food insecurity rates ranged from 8.5 percent of North Dakota households to 20.8 percent of Mississippi households in 2013–2015 (three-year average). No matter your practice or setting, it is likely or possible that you will be treating children from food-insecure households. You may not be able to tell who is food insecure just by looking at a child or family. However, certain children and households are more likely to be food insecure
• Households with children are nearly twice as likely to be food insecure as households without children.
• Food insecurity rates for black and Hispanic households are substantially above the national average.
• Households outside metropolitan areas (more rural areas) are seeing considerably deeper struggles with food insecurity compared to those within metropolitan areas.
• Unemployment and underemployment are strongly associated with food insecurity.
• Children in immigrant families, large families, families headed by single women, families with less education, and families experiencing parental separation or divorce are at greater risk for food insecurity.
A record 21.7 million American kids get free or reduced-price lunch during at school. But when summer vacation starts, the vast majority of them go without this essential, federally funded benefit.
1 in 6 Americans don't have access to enough food as hunger has NO boundaries. Many people believe the problems associated with hunger are confined to small pockets of society, certain areas of the country, or certain neighborhoods, but the reality is much different. Hunger affects all social economic status.
Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger. These are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days.
- 41% of households served by food organizations have at least 1 working adult in the household
- 25% of adults interviewed during a Hunger study have attended college or a technical school
- More than 6.4 million children are living in food-insecure households
-The prevalence of food insecurity varied considerably among household types. Rates of food insecurity were higher than the national average (12.7 percent) for the following groups
-- All households with children (16.6 percent),
-- Households with children under age 6 (16.9 percent),
-- Households with children headed by a single woman (30.3 percent),
-- Households with children headed by a single man (22.4 percent)
- The lack of adequate nutrition affects cognitive and behavioral development as well as physical growth, resulting in irritability, fatigue and difficulty concentrating
- Limited resources prevent 42 Million Americans from getting enough food
- 69% have to weigh between paying their electric bill or purchasing food
- 23% are Children
- 19% are elderly on a fixed budget
- Less than 9% are homeless
Courtesy of www.cnn.com
•Inappropriate Feeding Practices
Childhood food insecurity may present