Heat or Eat: The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and Nutritional and Health Risks Among Children Less Than 3 Years of Age

This article evaluates the association between family’s participation or nonparticipation in the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the anthropometric status and health of their young children. In a sample of 7,074 caregivers, 16% of families received LIHEAP and although recipients had background characteristics suggesting higher medical and social risk, children in LIHEAP families had statistically significant greater weight for age and lower odds of depressed growth than children in eligible families that did not receive LIHEAP. Expanding LIHEAP funding and increasing the percentage of recipient households with young children might potentially benefit children’s health and growth.