Project: Modifying Effects of Participation in Food Assistance Programs on the Weight Status, Health, Development, and Well-Being of Children
Award Year: 2003
Amount of award, fiscal 2003: $67,066.00
Institution: Cornell University
Principal Investigator: Edward Frongillo, Jr.
Status: Completed
Detailed Objective: Developing a better understanding of how food security and participation in food assistance programs affect children's well-being is an important research objective within the Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Program. However, research in this area has been difficult because most national data sets that contain information on food assistance program participation and measures of well-being have been cross-sectional, limiting the ability to explore causal relationships. This study will make use of a longitudinal data set, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 to examine, in a sample of elementary school-aged children, 1) the causal direction of any relationship between food insecurity, overweight, and other measures of child development and well-being, and 2) test for the modifying effect of participation in TANF, the Food Stamp Program, the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program, and past participation in WIC and Head Start.

Structural equation modeling will be used to examine the role of selection effects and examine ecological covariates that may confound the relationships among food insecurity, program participation, and outcomes. The results of this study will provide insights into the effectiveness of food assistance programs in alleviating food insecurity and improving children's well-being.

Topic: Food Security, Obesity
Dataset: Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)
Frongillo, E., D. Jyoti, and S. Jones. "Food Stamp Program Participation Is Associated with Better Academic Learning Among School Children," The Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 136, Issue 4, April 2006.
Jyoti, D., E. Frongillo, and S. Jones. "Food Insecurity Affects School Children's Academic Performance, Weight Gain, and Social Skills," The Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 135, Issue 12, December 2005.