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Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts committed to improving children’s health in America.

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SNAP, Young Children's Health, and Family Food Security and Healthcare Access

Introduction: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest nutrition assistance program in the U.S. This study’s objective was to examine the associations between SNAP participation and young children’s health and…
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Children’s HealthWatch’s Public Comment To Oppose the Proposed Changes to Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

On September 16th, Children’s HealthWatch submitted a public comment on the Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Notice of Public Rule Making (NPRM) for “Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program…
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Weighing the Toll of Food Insecurity

Originally published on U.S. News & World Report. FOOD INSECURITY ISN'T directly tied to obesity among young children from low-income families – but it is linked to poor overall health, a new study indicates. Food-insecure…
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Food insecurity in toddler years linked to poor health, says new research

Originally published on The New Indian Express. TORONTO: Young kids, who grow up in homes with limited access to nutritious foods are more likely to experience poor overall health and developmental problems, says a new study. However,…
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Children From Families With Food Insecurity Likely To Suffer From Poor Health: Study

Originally published on NDTV. A balanced diet comprising a mix of nutritional foods is important to obtain a healthy body. In the growing up years, it gets even more important to feed the body with foods that help in development and growth…
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Food insecurity in toddler years linked to poor health, but not obesity

Young children, who grow up in homes with limited access to nutritious foods (known as food insecurity), are more likely to experience poor overall health, hospitalizations, and developmental problems, but they are not at higher risk of developing…
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Early childhood food insecurity linked to poor health and development, not obesity

Originally published on 2 Minute Medicine. 1. Young children in food insecure households had higher odds of caregiver-reported fair or poor health and developmental risk, compared with children in food secure households. 2. There was a…
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SNAP Benefit Adequacy: What Does the Research Tell Us?

Originally published on FRAC ResearchWIRE. The average participant in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) receives $1.40 per person per meal. Peer-reviewed journal articles, government reports, expert reviews, and community-based…

Our Policy Focus Areas

Children’s HealthWatch research and policy analysis specifically focuses on the child health and developmental impacts of economic hardships with a particular focus on food insecurity, unstable housing, health care hardships and inability to afford adequate household energy.

  • Consistent access to food for all family members is crucial for ensuring children are healthy. Food and nutrition assistance programs are an essential cornerstone in supporting the health and well-being of low-income families. To read our SNAP/Farm Bill 2018 Legislative Priorities, click here.

  • Stable housing supports healthy growth and development among young children, and means families are not behind on rent, moving frequently, doubled up, overcrowded, or homeless. Policies that create affordable housing options that provide access to safe, stable housing help ensure young children and their families can thrive and be successful in life.

  • Maintaining consistent utility services so homes are heated in the winter and cooled in the summer is critical for children’s health and safety. Energy supports protect families from the harmful health effects of having their utilities shut off.

  • Health Care Hardships

    When families are forced to choose between paying for health care, such as medical care and prescriptions, and other basic needs such as food, rent, child care, or utility bills, that decision can have an effect on the health and wellbeing of young children. Providing supports necessary to care for children, especially those with special health care needs, is crucial for improving child health.

  • Alleviating economic hardships for families with young children will require comprehensive policy solutions including improvements to nutrition assistance programs, increasing access to affordable housing, providing energy assistance, making work pay through reducing cliff effects and increasing  and expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, providing affordable child care to all children, and supporting the health and development of all children.

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