Food insecurity and health: Practices and policies to address food insecurity among children
Pediatricians can and should play a critical role in addressing food insecurity, a health-related social need with harmful impacts on child health, development, and well-being. Food insecurity is a term defined by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that indicates that the availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire such food, is limited or uncertain for a household. A variety of strategies exist for pediatricians to address food insecurity among children in the US, including screening for food insecurity in health care settings, connecting children and their families to the benefits in the federal nutrition programs, and advocating for policies to alleviate food insecurity and its root causes. This commentary will briefly describe the prevalence of and risk factors for food insecurity among children, consequences of food insecurity for children, federal nutrition programs that improve household food security and child health, and actions pediatricians can take in their practice and through advocacy to meaningfully address food insecurity among children.
Hartline-Grafton H, Hassink SG. Food insecurity and health: Practices and policies to address food insecurity among children. Acad Pediatr. 2020;0(0). doi:10.1016/j.acap.2020.07.006