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Children's HealthWatch

Girl with doll sitting in doctor's office waiting room

Beginning January 1, 2020, the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Dornsife School of Public took over administration of this research project under the leadership of Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, MPH.

From 2004-2019, the Center for Hunger-Free Communities coordinated the Philadelphia site of Children’s HealthWatch, a surveillance study that monitors the health and well-being of very young children under the age of four. In this age range, children are in a period of rapid brain growth and development. Therefore, even mild-to-moderate under-nutrition can have long term negative consequences.

Children's HealthWatch is comprised of a network of pediatricians and public health researchers that collects data on children up to the age of four in emergency rooms and clinics at:

Since 1998, the study has provided the most current and largest dataset in the nation about the food security and development of very young children living in poverty. At the Philadelphia site, we interviewed more than 10,000 caregivers. Children's HealthWatch research has demonstrated the positive impact that participation in federal assistance programs like WIC, SNAP and LIHEAP have on children's health, development and growth in Philadelphia and throughout the country.