An important risk factor to consider in child health is food security, that is, securing an adequate diet, according to LSU AgCenter food and nutrition professor Dr. Annrose Guarino.
In a recently reported study, researchers surveyed 399 children in 36 counties/parishes of the Delta region of Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi to look at the relationship of inadequate food and their health-related quality of life (HRQOL).
Guarino points out that the region is among the poorest in the country.
The researchers found that children who live in households without enough food have a poorer health-related quality of life.
Children ages 3-8 years living in households considered "food insecure" were reported by their parents to have less physical function or ability, and children ages 12-17 years were reported to have lower psychosocial function or ability. Researchers also found that the overall effect on a child's physical or psychosocial function or ability might differ by age, ethnicity and gender.
Researchers also found that black males in food insecure households reported lower physical ability and a lower total health-related quality of life.
Household food insecurity status was measured using the U.S. Household Food Security Scale. Child HRQOL was measured by the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory.
The researchers reported the results of their work on child health-related quality of life and household food security in the January 2005 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
For information on related family and consumer topics, visit the FCS Web site at http://www.lsuagcenter.com
/Inst/Extension/Departments/fcs/. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture