Author Interviews, Nutrition / 20.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH Professor, Dept. of Health Policy and Management Director, Center for Health Policy Research Milken Institute School of Public Health George Washington University Washington, DC 20052   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: In this study, we examined how requirements that low-income adults work in order to keep their food assistance benefits (SNAP, formerly called food stamps) affects the number of people receiving benefits.  Briefly, we found, based on analyses of data from 2,410 counties from 2013 to 2017, that soon after work requirements are introduced, more than a third of affected participants lose their food assistance.  This meant that about 600,000 poor adults lost food assistance very quickly. This is important for two reasons: (1) Work requirements create greater hardship, including food insecurity and increased risk of health problems, when poor people lose their nutrition benefits. (2) The Trump Administration is trying to broaden this policy, expanding it further in SNAP, but also applying work requirements to Medicaid (for health insurance) and public housing benefits.  This is a massive effort at social experimentation that will cause tremendous harm. And the sad part is that we already know, from other research, that these work requirement programs do not actually help people get jobs, keep them or to become more self-sufficient.  This is because the work requirements do not address the real needs of low-income unemployed people, to learn how to get better job skills or to have supports, such as child care, transportation or health insurance, that let them keep working.  
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_49924" align="alignleft" width="150"]Liping Pan, MD, MPH Epidemiologist Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dr. Pan[/caption] Liping Pan, MD, MPH Epidemiologist Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Children with severe obesity face significant health and social challenges. Children with obesity are at higher risk for having other chronic health conditions and diseases, such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, and type 2 diabetes. They also have more risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, and high cholesterol than their healthyweight peers. Children with obesity can be bullied and teased more than their healthyweight peers. They are also more likely to suffer from social isolation, depression, and lower self-esteem. Children with obesity are also more likely to have obesity as adults. This can lead to lifelong physical and mental health problems. Adult obesity is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and many types of cancers.  Childhood obesity is more common among children from lower-income families, as many lack access to healthy, affordable foods and beverages and opportunities for low-cost physical activity.
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 23.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: [caption id="attachment_48781" align="alignleft" width="200"]M. Pia Chaparro, MS, PhDAssistant ProfessorDepartment of Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesSchool of Public Health and Tropical MedicineTulane UniversityNew Orleans, LA 70112 Dr. Chaparro[/caption] M. Pia Chaparro, MS, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine Tulane University New Orleans, LA 70112 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2009, the WIC program changed the food packages participants receive to better align them with federal dietary guidelines. These changes included the addition of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; a reduction in the amount of dairy and juice; and a calibration in formula amounts to match infants’ age and needs. We found that this change in the food package was associated with a 10-12% lower obesity risk at age 4 years among children who participated in WIC in Los Angeles County continuously from birth until age 4.
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 12.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div. Deputy Director of Policy Strategy Children's HealthWatchAllison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div. Deputy Director of Policy Strategy Children's HealthWatch MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Children’s HealthWatch was founded in 1998 by pediatric providers treating children with failure to thrive in six US cities across the country. They began their research on the health impacts of economic hardships like food insecurity in response to the 1996 welfare reform legislation after witnessing deteriorating health among young children in their clinics as a result of welfare sanctions on families. Over the years, the scope of the research has expanded to include research on food insecurity, housing instability, energy insecurity, health care hardships, and child care constraints. Through our current network of pediatricians and public health researchers in five US cities (Boston, Baltimore, Little Rock, Minneapolis, and Philadelphia), we seek to improve the health and well-being of children under age 4 and their families by informing policies that address and alleviate economic hardships. Our ongoing data collection in emergency departments and primary care clinics enables us to rapidly respond to emerging public health issues as policies and economic conditions change. While we have produced other papers and analyses specifically addressing health and economic disparities relevant to immigrant families, we were specifically interested in exploring this topic because the clinicians in our group as well as national media began anecdotally reporting that immigrants were forgoing accessing critical public health programs like SNAP out of fear.