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Why are nutrition and food security important?

Nutrition and food security are essential influences to the healthy development of children.  Proper diets with the required nutrients contribute to a child’s overall well-being.  When children experience food insecurity or do not have access to nutritionally balanced and appropriate diets, they are more susceptible to illness, obesity, type II diabetes, and increased health problems.  

Food insecurity not only affects physical health, but mental, social and emotional development is also jeopardized when food and proper nutrition are not readily available [8]

Hunger affects children’s concentration, behavior, attendance and success at school. [9]

1.Which of the following are barriers to food security?
Low Income
Poor Health
Employment Insecurity
Transportation and Access to Grocery Stores
All of the Above

“I get cold a lot.  Basically we’re living off soup and stuff.  Soup and Crackers.  And that’s just basically it.“ (12 year old child) [10]


8. McIntyre, L. (March 2003). Food Security: More than a determinant of health. Policy Options, 46-51.

9. Canadian School Boards Association, Students in Poverty: Towards Awareness, Action and Wider Knowledge, Ottawa, Canadian School Boards Association, 1997, pg. 3

10. Determinants of Health Working Group and the Child and Youth Health Network of eastern Ontario, (March 2000). The Challenges Our Children Face: Are we building healthy communities? Is there room for improvement? A report card on child poverty in Renfrew, pg. 1-17

All references for this section