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Subsidized housing and children's nutritional status: data from a multisite surveillance study.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2005; 159(6):551-6AP

Abstract

BACKGROUND

A critical shortage of affordable housing for low-income families continues in the United States. Children in households that are food insecure are at high risk for adverse nutritional and health outcomes and thus may be more vulnerable to the economic pressures exerted by high housing costs. Only about one fourth of eligible families receive a federally financed housing subsidy. Few studies have examined the effects of such housing subsidies on the health and nutritional status of low-income children.

OBJECTIVE

To examine the relationship between receiving housing subsidies and nutritional and health status among young children in low-income families, especially those that are food insecure.

DESIGN

Cross-sectional observational study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS

From August 1998 to June 2003, the Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program interviewed caregivers of children younger than 3 years in pediatric clinics and emergency departments in 6 sites (Arkansas, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Washington, DC). Interviews included demographics, perceived child health, the US Household Food Security Scale, and public assistance program participation. Children's weight at the time of the visit was documented. The study sample consisted of all renter households identified as low income by their participation in at least 1 means-tested program.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Weight for age, self-reported child health status, and history of hospitalization.

RESULTS

Data were available for 11 723 low-income renter families; 27% were receiving a public housing subsidy, and 24% were food insecure. In multivariable analyses, stratified by household food security status and adjusted for potential confounding variables, children of food-insecure families not receiving housing subsidies had lower weight for age (adjusted mean z score, -0.025 vs 0.205; P<.001) compared with children of food-insecure families receiving housing subsidies. Compared with children in food-insecure, subsidized families, the adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for weight-for-age z score more than 2 SDs below the mean was 2.11 (1.34-3.32) for children in food-insecure, nonsubsidized families.

CONCLUSIONS

In a large convenience sentinel sample, the children of low-income renter families who receive public housing subsidies are less likely to have anthropometric indications of undernutrition than those of comparable families not receiving housing subsidies, especially if the family is not only low income but also food insecure.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA 02118, USA. afmeyers@bu.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Multicenter Study
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

15939854

Citation

Meyers, Alan, et al. "Subsidized Housing and Children's Nutritional Status: Data From a Multisite Surveillance Study." Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, vol. 159, no. 6, 2005, pp. 551-6.
Meyers A, Cutts D, Frank DA, et al. Subsidized housing and children's nutritional status: data from a multisite surveillance study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(6):551-6.
Meyers, A., Cutts, D., Frank, D. A., Levenson, S., Skalicky, A., Heeren, T., ... Zaldivar, N. (2005). Subsidized housing and children's nutritional status: data from a multisite surveillance study. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 159(6), pp. 551-6.
Meyers A, et al. Subsidized Housing and Children's Nutritional Status: Data From a Multisite Surveillance Study. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(6):551-6. PubMed PMID: 15939854.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Subsidized housing and children's nutritional status: data from a multisite surveillance study. AU - Meyers,Alan, AU - Cutts,Diana, AU - Frank,Deborah A, AU - Levenson,Suzette, AU - Skalicky,Anne, AU - Heeren,Timothy, AU - Cook,John, AU - Berkowitz,Carol, AU - Black,Maureen, AU - Casey,Patrick, AU - Zaldivar,Nieves, PY - 2005/6/9/pubmed PY - 2005/6/24/medline PY - 2005/6/9/entrez SP - 551 EP - 6 JF - Archives of pediatrics & adolescent medicine JO - Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med VL - 159 IS - 6 N2 - BACKGROUND: A critical shortage of affordable housing for low-income families continues in the United States. Children in households that are food insecure are at high risk for adverse nutritional and health outcomes and thus may be more vulnerable to the economic pressures exerted by high housing costs. Only about one fourth of eligible families receive a federally financed housing subsidy. Few studies have examined the effects of such housing subsidies on the health and nutritional status of low-income children. OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between receiving housing subsidies and nutritional and health status among young children in low-income families, especially those that are food insecure. DESIGN: Cross-sectional observational study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: From August 1998 to June 2003, the Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program interviewed caregivers of children younger than 3 years in pediatric clinics and emergency departments in 6 sites (Arkansas, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Washington, DC). Interviews included demographics, perceived child health, the US Household Food Security Scale, and public assistance program participation. Children's weight at the time of the visit was documented. The study sample consisted of all renter households identified as low income by their participation in at least 1 means-tested program. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Weight for age, self-reported child health status, and history of hospitalization. RESULTS: Data were available for 11 723 low-income renter families; 27% were receiving a public housing subsidy, and 24% were food insecure. In multivariable analyses, stratified by household food security status and adjusted for potential confounding variables, children of food-insecure families not receiving housing subsidies had lower weight for age (adjusted mean z score, -0.025 vs 0.205; P<.001) compared with children of food-insecure families receiving housing subsidies. Compared with children in food-insecure, subsidized families, the adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval) for weight-for-age z score more than 2 SDs below the mean was 2.11 (1.34-3.32) for children in food-insecure, nonsubsidized families. CONCLUSIONS: In a large convenience sentinel sample, the children of low-income renter families who receive public housing subsidies are less likely to have anthropometric indications of undernutrition than those of comparable families not receiving housing subsidies, especially if the family is not only low income but also food insecure. SN - 1072-4710 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/15939854/Subsidized_housing_and_children's_nutritional_status:_data_from_a_multisite_surveillance_study_ L2 - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/10.1001/archpedi.159.6.551 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -