Nav: Home

Food insecurity has greater impact on disadvantaged children

June 26, 2018

Philadelphia, June 26, 2018 - In 2016, 12.9 million children lived in food-insecure households. These children represent a vulnerable population since their developing brains can suffer long-term negative consequences from undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that among these vulnerable children, food insecurity had a greater impact on behavior problems in young children of single mothers living in urban neighborhoods.

"Most studies on the consequences of food insecurity have focused on the average effect, which assumes that all children are similarly affected," said corresponding author Christian King, PhD, Department of Health Management and Informatics, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA. "A greater understanding about how food insecurity affects children differently is necessary to respond properly to the issue."

This study used data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, a sample of children born to mostly low-income urban mothers, to examine associations between food insecurity and child cognitive outcomes and behavioral problems. This study focused on 5,000 couples and their children born between 1998 and 2000 in 20 large urban cities. Over the course of the study, both parents were interviewed at regular intervals.

Two tests evaluated the children's cognitive development with a parent-reported checklist measuring both externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Examples of externalizing behaviors included whether the child argued a lot, was disobedient, or destroyed things. Examples of internalizing behaviors included whether the child was worried, sulked a lot, was shy, or refused to talk. Food insecurity was assessed at the household level.

The study used quantile regression to examine how food insecurity affects child cognitive and behavioral outcomes. This means of analysis was particularly effective in finding associations between independent and dependent variables in this multifaceted issue.

After analysis, household food insecurity was associated with more behavior problems (both externalizing and internalizing), and the negative association was greatest for children with the most behavior problems. Because child behavior problems have negative consequences, such as lower educational attainment and a greater risk of delinquency, food insecurity may increase these negative consequences and social disparities among children. These associations remained statistically significant even after accounting for other factors such as maternal depression, parenting stress, and material hardship.

"These results support the importance of increasing mindfulness about possible food insecurity among students and suggests that behavioral problems and poor cognitive outcomes may have underlying roots in food insecurity," said Dr. King. "School-based nutrition assistance programs could improve behavioral and cognitive outcomes, reduce absenteeism, and improve educational attainment in vulnerable children."
-end-


Elsevier

Related Food Insecurity Articles:

Men and women experience similar rates of anxiety due to job insecurity
Despite gender disparities in the workforce, male and female workers in Europe report similar rates of anxiety in response to job insecurity across countries.
Three-quarters of migrants traveling to US through Mexico experience food insecurity
A survey of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico on their way to the United States found that 74 percent of them experienced a degree of food insecurity, ranging from having only one meal to no food at all for one day or longer.
As food insecurity continues to plague New Yorkers, impact on children is worrisome
One in four households with children have reported a child experiencing hunger as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, according to the latest CUNY SPH COVID-19 tracking survey.
'Building wealth and health network' reduces food insecurity without providing food
As the coronavirus pandemic forces so many to reckon with growing food insecurity and increased health challenges, the Building Wealth and Health Network program of Drexel University's Center for Hunger-Free Communities is reducing food insecurity and improving mental health - without distributing any food or medicine.
Survey shows regions of elevated food insecurity due to COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to elevated levels of food insecurity in the southern US compared to other areas, according to new research from University of Arkansas sociologists.
Survey: Food insecurity in Vermont rose 33% during pandemic
Food insecurity in Vermont has increased by one-third during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statewide survey conducted by the University of Vermont at the end of March.
Housing insecurity may increase risk of kidney disease
In a study of urban-dwelling individuals, housing insecurity was linked with a higher risk of developing albuminuria, a sign of kidney disease.
JNCCN: Younger cancer survivors far more likely to experience food and financial insecurity
New research from the American Cancer Society in the March 2020 issue of JNCCN -- Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network finds that younger cancer survivors are more likely to experience significant financial strain for food, housing, and monthly bills, even years after diagnosis, than their cancer-free peers.
Job insecurity negatively affects your personality: Study
Drawing on Cybernetic Big Five Theory, this study proposes that chronic job insecurity is associated with an increase in neuroticism and decreases in agreeableness and conscientiousness.
Urban, home gardens could help curb food insecurity, health problems
Food deserts are an increasingly recognized problem in the United States, but a new study from the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, published by Elsevier, indicates urban and home gardens -- combined with nutrition education -- could be a path toward correcting that disadvantage.
More Food Insecurity News and Food Insecurity Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.