Saturday, May 10, 2014

Nutrition and poverty from campuses on the campaign trail

Nutrition news from SDSU included an outreach story about how to educate low-income families about proper nutrition.  It turns out that wasn't the only story about nutrition and poverty from campuses on the campaign trail in my archives of Overnight News Digest on Daily Kos.  Here are two more.

First, Meredith Gunter of the University of Virginia reported back in January about U.Va. Study: One in 10 Virginians Receives Food Stamp Benefits.
Slightly more than one in 10 Virginians receives monthly benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, according to University of Virginia researchers in the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service’s Demographics Research Group. SNAP payments in Virginia in 2012 totaled approximately $1.2 billion, as reported by the Virginia Department of Social Services.

This finding and others related to SNAP benefits across Virginia are detailed in a Census Brief released today, the second in a series of short publications depicting trends in census and other data of interest to the commonwealth.

SNAP provides monthly subsidies to individuals and families in or near poverty, specifically for the purchase of food; a family of four in Virginia with a net monthly income of $1,963 or less is eligible for benefits. Individuals recently unemployed are eligible for only a limited time.
The next month, the University of Michigan described how Poor conditions early in life may lead to health problems for many elderly in the developing world.
ANN ARBOR—Well-intended efforts to improve infant and child health in the developing world in the mid-20th century could be linked with increased risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease for people born during this period when they reach older age, a University of Michigan researcher found.

People born in developing countries in the 1930s through the 1960s lived their early lives when there was rapid improvement in life expectancy—mostly due to public health interventions involving antibiotics or other medical innovations. But for many of them, their standard of living did not improve, said Mary McEniry, a demographer at the U-M Inter-university Consortium of Political and Social Research, part of the U-M Institute for Social Research.

"Having a higher standard of living often means better nutrition and improved ability to fight off infections," she said. "We know that adult lifestyle—diet and exercise—can be very important in terms of health. However, there are now several studies that suggest that poor living conditions in early life can have long-range consequences on one's health at older ages.
As I wrote yesterday, here's to everyone being properly nourished.

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