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Food insecurity impairs academic development of children

and psychosocial development of school-age children and adolescents. Compared with food-secure children and adolescents, children from food-insecure families were found to be five times more likely to attempt suicide, four times more likely to suffer from chronic, low-grade depression (dysthymia), which is a high-risk factor for major depression, were almost twice as likely to have been suspended from school and were 1.4 times more likely to repeat a grade and to have significantly lower math scores.

About one in five American children live in poverty, the highest level of childhood poverty among developed nations, and more than 13 million children under age 18 live in food-insecure households. Although these numbers demonstrate the magnitude of this social problem, they do not adequately express the real burden of food deprivation for American children, Frongillo said.


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Contact: Joseph Schwartz
bjs54@cornell.edu
607-254-6235
Cornell University News Service
23-Dec-2005


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