Dr. Deborah Frank, Children’s HealthWatch Founder and Principal Investigator, spoke in advance of the upcoming Come to the Table summit on the importance of nutrition to the health of young children.

Summit Speaker: Hunger Especially Alarming for Children

Children are especially vulnerable to hunger. Much of their brain development occurs before preschool, for example, so children consistently need high levels of quality nutrients during this sensitive period.

Without adequate nutrition, youngsters don’t get the developmental building blocks needed for learning and positive behaviors, and those deficits are hard to compensate for later in life, said Deborah Frank, MD, founder of Children’s HealthWatch and professor of child health and well-being at Boston University School of Medicine.

“People tend to consider the issue of hunger as just an economic issue,” the pediatrician and researcher said. “In fact, it’s a very serious health and child development issue.”

Dr. Frank is one of the speakers at Come to the Table, a half-day summit about hunger and health in Washington, D.C., on February 27, 2014. In partnership with the Alliance to End Hunger, ProMedica is holding the Capitol Hill summit to encourage healthcare providers nationwide to address hunger as a health issue – and federal legislators to protect food-related policies and programs.

“I’m very alarmed by the fact that food insecurity is so very common among families with children,” Dr. Frank said. “Good food is the cheapest medicine.”

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