Younger children are shielded from food insecurity to a greater extent than older children
One in five U.S. households with children were food insecure in 2010-11. These households were, at times, unable to acquire adequate food for one or more members due to insufficient money and other resources for food. In about half of these households, only adults experienced food insecurity, while in 10 percent of all households with children, one or more of the children also were food insecure at some time during the year. Most parents attempt to shield their children from the more severe effects of food insecurity, even though they may have to reduce their own food intake to do so. The food security survey does not collect food insecurity information on each child in the household, but examining the prevalence of food insecurity among children by the age of the oldest child in the household sheds light on the greater protection afforded to younger children. Food insecurity among children was almost twice as prevalent in households with teenagers as in households in which the oldest child was no older than age 4. This chart appears in Food Insecurity in Households with Children: Prevalence, Severity and Household Characteristics, 2010-11, EIB-113, released May 30, 2013.
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