Pandemic makes childhood hunger worse experts say; inadequate food threatens children’s health

Originally published on Fox 8.

Hungry children are often unhealthy children.

Dr. Deborah Frank is a physician who is part of Boston University’s School of Medicine.

“Food is medicine,” said Dr. Frank.

The organization SciLine assembled Frank and two other scientists to discuss childhood hunger in terms of before and since the pandemic.

Dr. Eliza Kinsey of Columbia University was one of the panelists.

“Prior to the start of the pandemic in 2019, the household food insecurity rate was 10.5 percent and 13.6 percent among households with children. Since the pandemic started, we’ve seen estimates of food insecurity more than doubling to approximately 22 percent among all households and 28 percent among households with children,” Kinsey said.

Dr. Mariana Chilton of Drexel University says the consequences of being food deprived hurts society as a whole.

“It’s a loss of brain trust, the longer we allow children to be food insecure we are disinvesting and destroying the brain trust of America,” Chilton stated.

Dr. Frank says the impact can linger beyond childhood.