It seems hard to believe that one in every five children in the United States lives in a home where there isn’t access to enough healthy food for an active, healthy life for all household members. Here in Arizona, the numbers are estimated to be even higher, affecting as many as one in three children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is taking steps to address this serious problem in a new policy statement. The Academy is recommending that their members ask every family just two short questions which have been shown to identify 97% of the children who may live in a home without enough food.
Pediatricians are a key link between families without enough food and important programs that can assist, such as the Arizona WIC Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Child Nutrition Programs like National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs. Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, addressed the AAP National Conference this week and indicated that the number of schools implementing universal access to healthy food for all has increased by 20 percent since last year and that 97 percent of schools report successfully meeting updated nutrition standards.