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Parents Forced to Give Dietary Supplements to Ward Off Childrens’ Hunger

October 8, 2008

Families living in food insecurity may be more likely to rely on “compensatory foods” to assuage their childrens’ hunger, according to a new study published in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Of the 306 families surveyed, mothers in food insecure households were twice as likely to give their children supplements like PediaSure or Carnation Instant Breakfast to curb hunger. 13 percent used added sugar or other stimulants combat their childrens’ hunger.

For desperate parents, relying on supplements “may serve as a buffer to get their children through periodic food shortages,” said lead researcher Dr. Emily Feinberg.

Though the study identifies no clear link between relying on supplements to alleviate hunger and childhood obesity, Dr. Emily Feinberg of the Boston University School of Public Health noted that food insecurity and sporadic eating practices can lead to unhealthy weight for children. She encourages doctors to speak with patients about their access to food and to connect those patients who are living in food security with the appropriate benefits including Food Stamps and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program.

As the number of food insecure families continues to rise and parents use potentially unhealthy methods to compensate for the lack of adequate food, it becomes even more important for government to increase funding for nutrition programs and universal in-classroom school breakfasts to ensure that children are receiving the complete and balanced diet they need to grow into healthy and productive adults.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Supplements permalink
    October 23, 2008 12:08 pm

    good representation looking in this site, good work, keep up it.

  2. S.Bavarsky permalink
    February 8, 2011 1:00 am

    “Compensatory foods” are just that. They are not “Real” food and cannot be the basis of a child’s diet. For a child to grow up healthy and to create healthy eating habits for the future things like this need to be brought down to a minimum. While it is understood that you would not want your child to feel hungry or not have anything to eat, people need to be careful that they are still making sure that their children are getting enough “real” food as well. There are many programs out there, especially to help children, get food to eat. Healthy food to eat.

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