Healthify Blog

Overcoming Summer Food Insecurity

Food insecurity for school-aged children reaches its most acute point just when those students should be relaxing and enjoying a break – summer time. Each year when schools let out, millions of children across the U.S. are left without the subsidized breakfast and lunch programs that provide them with the nutritious and filling foods that are vital building blocks for their physical and cognitive development. This summer gap can further disadvantage lower-income students from their peers. 

Topics: childhood development food insecurity education

Fostering a Community Connection for Homeless Children

“Love, belonging and connection are the universal sources of true well-being.” -Unknown

 Being homeless is a traumatic experience, but for children it is especially detrimental. During a child’s crucial years of development, losing everything—their home, routines, privacy, friends, and pets—creates a toxic stress that has a lasting impact on their physical and mental health. Without basic needs, children grow up longing for more: more safety, more structure, and more security.

Approximately 2.5 million children lacked a home at some point in 2013. And according to the National Center for Homeless Education, the number of homeless students has doubled in the past decade.

Topics: childhood development coordinated care homeless

Testing the Effectiveness of Healthy School Lunchroom Interventions

In an effort to combat America’s obesity epidemic, school boards and state legislatures are increasingly turning to interventions in which less healthy food options are replaced with healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables.

Topics: childhood development food obesity healthcare

Is Social Media Contributing to the Rise of Teen Suicides?

Middle schoolers are now just as likely to die from suicide as from traffic accidents, according to newly published data from the Centers for Disease Control.

Topics: social determinants of health childhood development mental health

Alleviating the Adverse Effects of Childhood Trauma

It’s often said that adversity builds character. But the impact of significant adversity walks a fine line, particularly among children. When children face hardships, such as the death of a loved one, violence in their household or even divorce, their growth and development can be disrupted.

Topics: childhood development

Want to Get Americans Active? Study Suggests Prioritizing Education Spending

It’s no secret that regular physical activity can affect overall health and well-being. Exercising regularly can lower the risk of a variety of ailments including heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and even depression. Unfortunately, according to the CDC only 1 in 5 adults in the United States met the CDC-established physical activity guidelines. Since many of the leading causes of death in the United States are potentially preventable with regular physical activity, incentivizing activity is an important public health imperative.

Topics: public health childhood development public policy

The Minimum Wage and Maternal and Newborn Health

Conversations on minimum wage hikes have focused largely on the economic impacts it would have on families and states. But new research lays out the potential benefits that an increase in the minimum wage could have on poor women, their health, and the health of their children.

Women make up 64% of the 4.2 million workers earning minimum wage or less. These aren’t just teenagers working seasonal retail. The vast majority are adults. Almost 80% of women living on minimum wage are 20 or older. Approximately 40% are over 30.

Topics: social determinants of health health disparities childhood development

Summer's Impact on the Achievement Gap

The Financial Burden of Summer Vacation

The school year provides a sense of stability for families and a structure that allows both children and parents to form consistent routines. However, for underprivileged families, the stability gained from school is more extensive. In addition to the obvious educational benefits, to unprivileged families school provides child care, meals, mental and physical activity, and often before and after school programs.

Topics: health disparities community resources childhood development

What's the Effect of Parental Domestic Violence on Children?

Victims of Chronic Domestic Violence Twice as Likely to Attempt Suicide

A new study by the University of Toronto found that one in six adults who were exposed to chronic parental domestic violence during childhood has attempted suicide, according to a university news release.
The lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts among adults who had been exposed to such violence during childhood was 17.3 percent compared to 2.3 percent among those without the same exposure, the release stated. 
Topics: social determinants of health childhood development