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Maternal Employment and Children’s Nutrition: Volume II, Other Nutrition-Related Outcomes

by Mary Kay Crepinsek, Nancy Burstein, and Linda M. Ghelfi

Electronic Publications from the Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program No. (EFAN-04006-2) 72 pp, June 2004

The higher income of households with working mothers is related to lower participation in USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women,Infants,and Children (WIC) and School Breakfast and Food Stamp Programs. In contrast,children of working mothers are more likely to participate in the National School Lunch Program. This study analyzed differences in nutrition and nutrition-related outcomes among children whose mothers work full time, part time, and not at all (homemakers). This report focuses on indirect nutrition-related outcomes, including food program participation, children's eating patterns,household food acquisition and sufficiency, and children's physical activity and risk of overweight. Study results indicate that households with working mothers spend more on food and have higher levels of food sufficiency than households without working mothers. Working mothers,however, participate less in meal planning, shopping,and food preparation. The children of working mothers are more likely to skip morning meals,rely more on away-from-home food sources, spend more time watching TV and videos,and face significantly greater risk of overweight.

Keywords: Food assistance, Child and Adult Care Food Program, CACFP, child nutrition, diet quality, nutrition, program outcomes, National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program, FANRP

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Last updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013

For more information contact: Mary Kay Crepinsek, Nancy Burstein, and Linda M. Ghelfi