Childhood poverty associated with chronic disease, quality of health

Children are among the poorest populations in the U.S., with more than 21 percent living in poverty as of 2014. And research finds that such economic circumstances are among the greatest threats to a child’s health and well-being both before and after birth.

“Poverty is toxic,” Deborah Frank, MD, founder and a principal investigator of Children’s HealthWatch at Boston Medical Center, told The Nation’s Health, adding that 30 to 40 percent of children younger than 4 coming through the medical center’s pediatric emergency room are living in food-insecure households. “In this country, childhood poverty is about policy change. It’s not an unavoidable act of God.”

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