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Poverty’s Effect On Child Nutrition

Poverty and food insecurity are just a couple of social determinants of health (SDOH) – parts of our environment that impact every part of our health and wellbeing. We often talk about how SDOH impact adults, but how does it affect children?

One in seven children lives in poverty today. Lack of food has a direct impact on their development and well-being in both the short- and long term. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “After multiple risk factors are considered, children who live in households that are food insecure, even at the lowest levels, are likely to be sick more often, recover from illness more slowly, and be hospitalized more frequently. Lack of adequate healthy food can impair a child’s ability to concentrate and perform well in school and is linked to higher levels of behavioral and emotional problems from preschool through adolescence.” (AAP policy statement, Promoting Food Security for All Children)