Dr. Deborah Frank, Children’s HealthWatch Founder and Principal Investigator, spoke to WGBH about recently published Children’s HealthWatch research and the importance of SNAP.
Report: SNAP Is Vaccine Against Hunger
Pediatrician and founder of Children’s HealthWatch, Deborah Frank, said SNAP acts as a vaccine against food insecurity and hunger.
“There are good medical data that say that when children who receive SNAP compared to similar children who don’t, they are less likely to be hospitalized, less likely to have academic problems, less likely to be obese and anemic,” she said.
Childhood food insecurity is a public health threat with lasting effects not only on a child’s health, but that of the economy, the Boston Medical Center report says.
“Children who are malnourished in early life are much less able as they grow up to compete in a knowledge-based economy, and also sick people have a tough time working,” said Frank. “Even brief periods of nutritional deprivation and the toxic stress of being hungry, even if not for weeks and weeks, affects how the brain develops and how it works later on.”