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Food Insecurity Among US Children: Implications for Nutrition and Health

Kaiser, Lucia L. PhD, RD; Townsend, Marilyn S. PhD, RD

Food Insecurity and Special Populations

Food security supports the normal development, growth, and health of children. Household food insecurity or insufficiency may be associated with lower dietary quality, poor cognitive development, and emotional/behavioral problems in children. Food insecurity or insufficiency is not associated with risk of being overweight in childhood, but deprivation during childhood may be related to adult obesity. In a clinical setting, neither anthropometric measures nor income measures are sufficient to determine whether food insecurity is a problem. Practitioners should be aware of food assistance programs in their communities and make appropriate referrals, but strategies need to include promoting sustainable community solutions.

Department of Nutrition, University of California at Davis.

Corresponding author: Lucia L. Kaiser, PhD, RD, Department of Nutrition, University of California at Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616 (e-mail:

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.