Research shows food insecurity is the biggest determinant of health. Hungry kids are more likely to experience serious short-and long-term health issues, developmental delays, and social, behavioral and emotional problems. Childhood hunger has even been linked to significant health problems in adulthood including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and mental health issues including depression.
At the beginning of September, teachers report hungry kids externalize behaviors including challenges in self-control and interpersonal skills, as well as exhibit compromised development of reading, language and math skills.
In contrast, food security and healthier eating habits in children have been associated with:
- Improved commitment to learning
- Reading at grade level
- Achievement motivation
- School engagement
- Dedication to homework
- Increased performance on standardized tests and overall grade point averages
The effects of inadequate nutrition on a child’s health and educational outcomes contribute to a less competitive workforce and higher health care costs borne by the provincial government, taxpayers and employers.
Childhood is a critical time for safe and healthy human development.
Children have special characteristics and needs in terms of physical, emotional, social and behavioural development, and nutrition is vital to their success. To learn more about healthy eating and active living for kids, click on the images below: