Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nutrition, Pediatrics, UCSF / 11.11.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason M Nagata M.D., M.Sc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity is expected to rise given economic uncertainty and job losses. Vulnerable and marginalized populations are disproportionately affected by both COVID-19 and food insecurity. (more…)
Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Nutrition, Social Issues / 07.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jason Nagata, MD, MSc Assistant Professor of Pediatrics University of California, San Francisco San Francisco, California, USA MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: During the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity is expected to rise given economic uncertainty and job losses. Vulnerable and marginalized populations are disproportionately affected by both COVID-19 and food insecurity. MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Response: In this perspective, we argue that food insecurity and COVID-19 can exacerbate one another via bidirectional links. Experiencing food insecurity can lead to nutritional deficiencies and weakened host defenses, increasing susceptibility to COVID-19 infection. Food insecurity is also associated with chronic medical conditions which may lead to a higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Conversely, people with COVID-19 may not be able to work, generate income, or procure food while quarantined, which may worsen food insecurity. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Social Issues / 28.06.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Erin Brantley, PhD, MPH Senior Research Associate Department of Health Policy and Management Milken Institute School of Public Health Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We looked at what happened when work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation, or SNAP, were turned on in many places after the Great Recession. We found large drops in participation in SNAP benefits due to work requirements, and that black recipients were more likely to lose benefits than white recipients. We think this is driven by the fact that black workers face higher unemployment rates than white workers, and work requirement policies do not take this into account. We also found that some people who report having disabilities lost benefits, even though the intent of work requirements is that they apply to people without disabilities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Nutrition, Social Issues / 09.03.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alon Peltz, MD MBA MHS Department of Population Medicine Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Thank you for taking an interest in our study. This study represented a collaboration between investigators from Harvard Medical School and Boston University School of Medicine. SNAP is an important U.S. federal aid program that serves nearly 40 million persons annually with well-established health, nutrition, and financial benefits. Families can be eligible for the SNAP program under “federal” rules or “categorical eligibility” rules that extend SNAP support to otherwise ineligible families who receive benefits under certain social assistance programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. In July 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed new SNAP policies that would limit qualifications via the categorical eligibility route. Although these new policies have not been finalized, it is estimated that 1 in 10 U.S. families currently participating in SNAP may lose their benefits. We wanted to investigate the potential ramifications of these changes to help inform policymakers of the vulnerabilities of the families who receive SNAP benefits and may be at risk for disenrollment if the proposed policies are implemented. (more…)
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. (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, JAMA, Nutrition, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 24.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Weight Research / 23.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 12.11.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allison Bovell-Ammon, M.Div. Deputy Director of Policy Strategy Children's HealthWatch Allison 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. (more…)