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Abstract

Household food insecurity is associated with threats to children’s intellectual, behavioral, and psycho-emotional development. In addition to poor food quality and quantity, the stress associated with food insecurity can undermine caregiver mental health and family functioning. Evidence demonstrates that national assistance programs and policies are needed to ensure that families and children have access to adequate sources of healthy food and to stress-alleviating resources.

Key Take Away Points

  • Household food insecurity is associated with threats to children’s intellectual, behavioral, and psycho-emotional development.
  • Food insecure children experience poor food quality and quantity.
  • The stress associated with food insecurity can undermine caregiver mental health and family functioning.
  • National assistance programs and policies are needed to ensure that families and children have access to adequate sources of healthy food and to stress-alleviating resources.

Author Biography

Maureen M. Black, Ph.D. is the John A. Scholl, MD and Mary Louise Scholl, MD Endowed Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is a pediatric psychologist and chief of the Division of Growth and Nutrition.

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A Response To:

Food Insecurity and the Behavioral and Intellectual Development of Children: A Review of the Evidence by Rafael Perez-Escamilla and Rodrigo Pinheiro de Toledo Vianna.