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Fuel for Our Future: Impacts of Energy Insecurity on Children’s Health, Nutrition, and Learning

Rising energy prices affect all households, yet the impact is greatest on low-income families. The lower a family’s income, the higher the percentage of their total income they must spend for energy. The strain on household budgets often causes unavoidable trade-offs between food and energy, called ‘heat or eat’ or ‘cool or eat.’ These trade-offs have serious consequences for young children’s health and learning, particularly for children of color. This report demonstrates the important role that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) plays in protecting children’s health and ability to learn.

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Balancing Acts: Energy Insecurity among Low-Income Babies and Toddlers of Color Increases Food Insecurity and Harmful Health Impacts

Energy insecurity compounds the negative effects of food insecurity on child health. “Heat or eat” and “cool or eat” situations further compromise the nutrition of already-vulnerable young children, and increase their risk of health problems in both the short- and long-term. Children of color are at increased risk of experiencing the damaging effects of energy insecurity because their families are disproportionately poor and underserved. This report details Children’s HealthWatch data on energy insecurity among children of color, focusing specifically on Black and Latino children ages 0 to 3.

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Balancing Acts: Energy Insecurity among Low-Income Babies and Toddlers of Color Increases Food Insecurity and Harmful Health Effects

Energy insecurity compounds the negative effects of food insecurity on child health. “Heat or eat” and “cool or eat” situations further compromise the nutrition of already-vulnerable young children, and increase their risk of health problems in both the short- and long-term. Children of color are at increased risk of experiencing the damaging effects of energy […]

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Food Stamps As Medicine: A New Perspective on Children’s HealthWatch

The Food Stamp Program is America’s first line of defense against hunger and the foundation of our national nutrition safety network. Physicians and medical researchers also think it is one of America’s best medicines to prevent and treat childhood food insecurity. The report demonstrates the important protective effect of food stamps on child food insecurity and for citizen children of immigrants. Eligible children receiving food stamps are less likely to be food insecure than eligible children not receiving food stamps.

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The Impact of Food Insecurity on the Development of Young Low-Income Black and Latino Children & Protecting the Health and Nutrition of Young Children of Color: The Impact of Nutrition Assistance and Income Support Programs

A pair of reports demonstrating the increased vulnerability of young black and Latino children from low-income households to developmental risk linked to food insecurity and the buffering effect that family support programs can have on young black and Latino children’s health and growth.

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The Real Cost of a Healthy Diet: Healthful Foods Are Out of Reach for Low-Income Families in Boston, Massachusetts (2005)

A report from a research team from the Boston Medical Center Department of Pediatrics revealing that, on average, the monthly cost of the Thrifty Food Plan (upon which Food Stamp Program benefits are based) is $27 more than the maximum monthly food stamp benefit allowance. A low-cost healthier diet based on the most recent nutrition guidelines exceeded the maximum monthly food stamp benefit by $148 — an annual differential of $1,776. This is an unrealistic budgetary stretch for most families who qualify for nutrition assistance.

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The Safety Net in Action: Protecting the Health and Nutrition of Young American Children

A comprehensive summary of Children’s HealthWatch findings showing the positive impact of five public assistance programs on young children’s food security, growth, and health.

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The Impact of Welfare Sanctions on the Health of Infants and Toddlers

This report summarizes the association of welfare sanctions with the health and food security of children less than 3 years of age in 6 large U.S. cities. The report is based on findings published in the July 2002 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, using data collected by the Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program (C-SNAP), as well as additional data […]