Students Speak Out

Did You Know?

The link between obesity and food insecurity may be caused by a third factor that contributes to both the risk of obesity and food insecurity in adulthood - - socioeconomic disadvantage in childhood. This is suggested by a number of studies showing socioeconomic disadvantage in early life to be positively associated with increased obesity and food insecurity in young adulthood. If this research holds up, this should lead those concerned about obesity to work to improve the economic lives of low-income households.4

Resources

Food Choices and Diet Costs
Who Pays in the Obesity War?
F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America
USDA Healthier Schools Challenge Criteria
America's Youngest Outcasts: State Report Card on Child Homelessness
Creating Access to Healthy, Affordable Food - Initiative Summary
Healthy Food, Healthy Communities: Promising Strategies to Improve Access to Fresh, Healthy Food and Transform Communities
Addressing Childhood Obesity: The Role of School-Based Health Centers

Hunger and Obesity

Understanding Hunger and Obesity and the Role for School-Based Health Care

School-based health centers can be a critical partner in addressing hunger and obesity in their schools. They can provide leadership in working with food service, administrators, staff and students to assure students have access to healthy food in school, including in vending machines. Moreover, school-based health centers can provide leadership in advocating for policies in the community, and with state and national policymakers to assuage hunger and curb the spiraling trend towards obesity for the 43 million1 people who live in poverty, including 17 million2 food vulnerable children. More often than not, these are the same children who attend schools with the lowest graduation rates, half of them found in the nation’s poorest neighborhoods. 3


  1. U.S. Census. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: Report 2009. Poverty in the United States. 2009;22.
  2. Food Research and Action Center. Hunger data. http://frac.org/reports-and-resources/hunger-data/. Accessed April 2011
  3. Balfanz R. What We Can Do to Build A Graduation Nation: Making High Poverty Secondary Schools Engines for Advancement. AFT Teach conference 2011 powerpoint. http://www.every1graduates.org/component/k2/item/127-what-we-can-do-to-build-a-graduation-nation-making-high-poverty-secondary-schools-engines-for-advancement.html. 7/11/11. Accessed 8/12/11
  4. Food Research and Action Center. Proceedings of the Roundtable on Understanding the Paradox of Hunger and Obesity. November 22, 2004. Retrieved from. www.frac.org/pdf/proceedings05.pdf.