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Screening for Food Insecurity in Suburban Primary Care Pediatric Practices: Feasibility, Acceptability and Impact

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Food insecurity, or the lack of reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food, affects nearly 16 percent of all households (15.8 million children) across the U.S. and has been associated with a multitude of health-related issues, poor academic performance, psychosocial and behavioral problems, and higher utilization of health care services. Food insecurity is particularly concerning for low- income suburbanites since over the last decade poverty has grown by 66 percent in suburban communities, double the rate of urban cities.

In this PolicyLab Research at a Glance brief, Dr. Deepak Palakshappa examined the feasibility, family and clinician acceptability, and impact of food insecurity screening in suburban pediatric primary care practices. The brief demonstrates that although there may be some initial apprehension by both parents and clinicians, pediatric practices can provide connections to resources that can help alleviate parents’ unmet social needs, such as food insecurity.


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