Many breakfast programs, it still may be unhealthy.

            Many low-income households in the United States are food
insecure. This review will discuss food insecurity and the health effects from
that in both children and adults. It will also address the different programs
(including The Food Stamp Program) low-income, food  insecure households may receive and whether
or not they are effective in relieving some conditions of being food insecure.

Although
low-income households might receive assistance from programs such as the Food
Stamp Program, WIC, community driven food banks and soup kitchens, and/ or
school breakfast programs, it still may be unhealthy. Research found that
people with cardio metabolic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and
stroke who live in low-income households are very unhealthy (Berkowitz,
Berkowitz, Meigs, Wexler, 6/7/2017). This is because many times the food
assistance that they do receive does not fit into their special diet and they
are burdened by the cost of medications and treatments. In the article, Trends
in food insecurity for adults with cardio metabolic disease in the United
States, they pulled data from the national Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
(NHANES) from the years between 2005-2012, analyzing food insecurity for people
in the same age group who have cardio metabolic disease and those who don’t.
Comparing the two groups they came to the conclusion that food insecurity was
greater in people receiving assistance with cardio metabolic disease. This
shows that the quality of food that the participants are receiving is of poor
quality, because cardio metabolic disease is prevented and managed through diet
and nutrition.

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            Nutrition isn’t just important to people with diagnosed
health problems, but also to children. Children go through crucial times of
development and need well balanced nutrition in order to support this growth.
In the article, Food Insecurity and Iron Deficiency Anemia in low-income
infants and toddlers in the United States, they gathered data from Boston
Medical Center’s Pediatric Emergency Department between June of 1996 and May of
2001. This is where caregivers of the children were interviewed as part of the
Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program. If one of the children
already had a pre-diagnosis that was known to increase the likelihood of anemia
then they would be excluded from the research (Skalicky, et. al, 3/2006). The
results overall  were that caregivers
reported child food insecurity at 10.4 %, reported reduced diet quality at
7.8%, and reported child hunger at 2.6%. OF these children 61% were ISNA (iron
sufficient-no anemia), 21% had Anemia without having iron deficiency, 7%were
IDNA (iron deficient-no anemia), and lastly 11% had IDA (iron deficient with
anemia) (Skalicky et. al, 3/2006). With these results it shows again as with
the cardio metabolic participants, that the quality and quantity of the food provided
through assistance programs need to be greater. The problem is that WIC and the
Food Stamp program are designed to aid the low-income families food needs, not
support it completely.

            Children are also becoming overweight as a result of less
play and overeating, or eating the wrong types of foods. In the article,
Poverty, Food Programs, and Childhood Obesity, they used data from the 11997
Child Development Supplement and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The
weights and income were compared and this is what the article showed in
results: Children who participated in the school food programs may have a
greater chance of being overweight; also the children who ate the school
provided hot lunches had a greater Body Mass Index and if the child ate the
breakfast and the hot lunch then their BMI was the highest (Hofferth, Curtin,
2005). One thing to consider is that many of the programs available do not give
many foods to people that are packed full of vitamins and minerals, usually the
opposite. So when a family is seeking out help from multiple places they get
access to a lot of poor  quality foods
that leave one feeling hungry and overeating occurs which can lead to being
overweight. One drawback of this article is that it did not factor in the USDA
and states trying to improve quality of the meals provided in school breakfasts
and lunches (Hofferth, Curtin, 2005). Although the school breakfast program may
cause a child to become overweight depending on other factors (such as receiving
food from  community food drive, food
banks, etc). In the article, The School Breakfast Program Strengthens household
Food Security among Low-Income Households with Elementary School Children, they
compared students who received the School breakfast program to those who did
not receive it. The results were that this program is really efficient at
reducing Food Insecurity conditions ( such as cutting size of meal to stretch
out food, skipping meals, worrying about food running out before next paycheck)
in low-income households (Bartfield, Ahn, 1/12/2011).

            The article, Food Insecurity and Programs to alleviate
it: What we know and what we have yet to learn, uses the food security module,
Current Population Survey  (CPS), which
has 18 questions related to household experiences and food insecurity. With
this it was found that many households that are food insecure are households
with single mothers as head of household with low education, African American
and Hispanic ethnicity pose a high risk of having afood insecure household.
This article also shows that food insecurity is related to low or poor quality
of nourishment and is associated with many health problems (Duffy, Zizza 2016).

            Three articles address food insecurity and The Food Stamp
Program. The first article is, Food Insecurity and The Food Stamp Program,
which pulled data from CPS regarding all income information (like net from
business, pensions, interest, etc.). The data showed that the food stamp
qualifications affect if someone will participate in the program which will
affect the food insecurity in that household. Say they make one hundred dollars
more than can be accepted, they will either work less so they can become a
recipient in The food Stamp Program, or they will not receive food stamps and
no change will happen regarding that households food insecurity. The second
article, The impact of The Food Stamp Program Participation on Household Food
Insecurity, shows that it too shows evidence that head of households that are
single women, nonwhites, unemployed and/ or have multiple children are of a
higher risk of being food insecure. Another point it makes is that head of
households that are addicted to something like cigarettes or alcohol are more
likely to spend money on those items before spending money to provide food for
the household, so this is another risk of becoming a household with food
insecurity. The data was pulled from the 1999 Panel Study of Income Dynamics,
which groups households into three categories: food secure, marginally food
secure, and food insecure. Lastly the third article is, How much does the
supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program reduce Food Insecurity, and it uses
the nationally found SIPP dataset covering from the end of the 1990s to 2005.
It shows that the households who participate in The Food Stamp Program would
have a food insecurity level that would be 16.2 % points higher, if Food Stamp
Program wasn’t there to aid them. This also suggests that The Food Stamp Program
reduces food insecurity by 31.2%. It is a good idea for the administrators in
charge of the Food Stamp Program to be aware of the great need for this service
and maybe revise the qualifications so more low-income households can also
lower their risk of becoming food insecure (Ratcliffe, Mckernan, Zhang, 7/2011).