Kids not tied to food insecurity

Children whose families have trouble putting food on the table do not appear to be at increased risk of obesity, new study findings suggest. Though it may seem counterintuitive, there is evidence that food “insecurity” in lower-income families can contribute to excessive weight gain.

The new study suggests that for children, food insecurity is not the obesity risk factor it appears to be for adult women. In fact, children from families that had trouble buying enough food were 20 per cent less likely than their peers to be overweight. Though the current study did not assess children’s overall health, past research has linked food insecurity to poorer physical and mental health, as well as poorer school performance, according to Dr. Donald Rose of Tulane University in New Orleans. Food insecurity, he said means not only a lack of calories, but also a lack of quality foods that meet the body’s nutritional needs.

In this study, lack of exercise, excessive television time and low income in general were some of the factors that boosted children’s risk of being overweight.