Thinking About Food InsecuritySeptember 23, 2020
Food Insecurity is the lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious meals. Childhood food insecurity may lead to poor health status, developmental risks, mental health problems, and poor educational outcomes. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all providers screen patients for food insecurity at scheduled health maintenance visits or sooner, if indicated.
According to the U.S.D.A, over 37 million Americans are food insecure, and 1 in 6 U.S. children live in a food insecure household. As a result of the economic hardships brought on by COVID, food insecurity is on the rise. According to the Brookings Institution, 34.5 percent of households with a child 18 and under were food insecure as of late 2020. This is a 130% increase from 2018.
Childhood food insecurity may present in a number of ways:
- Developmental delays
- Behavioral problems
- Poor growth
- Inappropriate feeding practices
If a patient screens positive, here are a few resources you can connect them to:
USDA National Hunger Hotline >