Why is good nutrition so important?
More than 13 million children in the US go to bed hungry according to the US Department of Agriculture. With the impacts of COVID-19, that number is expected to increase greatly.
Food insecurity can have long-lasting effects on young children, impacting their memory, social and learning skills.
Children who live in households that are food insecure, even at the lowest levels, get sick more often, recover more slowly from illness, have poorer overall health and are hospitalized more frequently.
Children and adolescents affected by food insecurity are more likely to be iron deficient, and preadolescent boys dealing with hunger issues have lower bone density.
Early childhood malnutrition also is tied to conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease later in life.
Lack of adequate healthy food can impair a child’s ability to concentrate and perform well in school and is linked to higher levels of behavioral and emotional problems from preschool through adolescence.