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Félice Lê-Scherban Awarded R01 to Study Food Insecurity and its Implications for Children

June 29, 2022

Nearly 14% of U.S. households with children were food insecure before the start of the COVID-19 crisis, and this number increased dramatically during the pandemic. Food insecurity is defined as inadequate access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. Food insecurity threatens critical early childhood growth and can put children at risk for poor short and long-term health. Food insecurity is also a major source of inequity among children. Black households with children are three times as likely to experience food insecurity than compared to white households with children, and Latinx households are twice as likely to experience food insecurity.

Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD, MPH, training core lead at the UHC is leading this project, "Food Insecurity, Neighborhood Environment, and Weight Trajectories in Young Children: Implications for Food Assistance Policy," funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The goal of this study is to inform implementation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and other food assistance policies by analyzing how household food insecurity is associated with weight trajectories among young children, and how this association is modified by neighborhood environment and public food assistance programs.