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Impact of Food Assistance on Food Insecurity and Nutrition in Young Children in the US and the UK.

The Study

The US has a long history of government food assistance, which comprises the bulk of financial assistance for poor families in the US.  These US programmes have been much studied and reviewed. The UK, on the other hand, has a growing food insecurity problem, as evidenced by the recent explosive growth of food banks.  The UK government is committed to the reduction of health inequalities and hunger, but it has not traditionally provided direct food assistance.  My study uses the US experience to help to inform UK policy, as it addresses the growing problems of food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition, particularly in young children.

Why it matters for Food Policy

Food insecurity and poverty lead to a monotonous and less healthful diet.  Although nutrition in the first years of life is critically important, children in deprived families often do not have access to the healthy food that will maximize their future success. Children in the most deprived families are more than twice as likely as children in the least deprived families to be obese when they enter school.  My research aims to provide a voice to deprived families which can help evaluate and inform policy.

Student: Laurie Egger

More about this research