0
Editorial |

Child Hunger, Food Insecurity, and Social Policy

Patrick H. Casey, MD; Stephanie A. Ettinger de Cuba, MPH; John T. Cook, PhD; Deborah A. Frank, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(8):774-775. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.127.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Extract

Hunger is the physiologic sensation that we all feel at regular intervals; it does not threaten health unless the body's need for food is consistently not met. Because scientists who evaluate the association or causal relationship of chronic hunger with child well-being are not able to reliably measure this sensation over time, the measure of food security/insecurity has become the criterion standard in such research. As assessed by an 18-item survey instrument,1 food insecurity is defined as, “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in a socially acceptable way.”2 This definition, which includes both the quantity and quality of food, acknowledges the need for families to have adequate physical and financial resources to obtain sufficient good-quality foods to meet nutritional needs in a consistent and sustainable way.3 As documented in the annual US Department of Agriculture survey, 14.6% (17 million US households) were food insecure in 2008, up from 11.1% (13 million US households) in 2007.1,4 This change represents the greatest increase documented in 1 year and the highest rate of food insecurity found since the survey began in 1995. The data among households with children are even more grim. The prevalence of food insecurity among all households with children was 21% in 2008; 37% of female-headed households with children were food insecure. A total of 50.3% of families with children in which household income was at or below the poverty level reported food insecurity in 2008. While data are not yet available for 2009, joblessness and cuts in family support programs may have increased food insecurity even further. Families in food-insecure households spend less per person on food each week ($33.33 vs $45) than those in food-secure households and they are more likely to use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps; 56.25% vs 43.8%).1

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
/>
First page PDF preview

Figures

Tables

References

Correspondence

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).
Submit a Comment

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics
PubMed Articles
Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();