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Food Insecurity Is a Source of Toxic Stress

6 Feb 2024 7:04 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

Food insecurity is a pervasive and persistent issue in the United States that disproportionately affects families with children and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.1 Food insecurity has been associated with psychological, cognitive, and behavioral health consequences in children, contributing to lifelong socioeconomic and health inequities.2 Identifying pathways by which food insecurity affects children’s health is critical to informing intervention efforts to eliminate childhood food insecurity. We posit that toxic stress is a prominent pathway underlying food insecurity and children’s health and advocate for research, clinical, and policy approaches to better address the root causes of food insecurity and promote lifelong health. [JAMA Network]

Toxic stress refers to the biological response to experiencing a strong, frequent, or prolonged stressor without the buffering effect of a supportive environment.



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