A new study finds food insecurity a risk to teen mental health.

Food Insecurity a Risk to Teen Mental HealthWhen teens live in households with uncertain or limited availability of nutritious food, they are more than twice as likely than their peers to have emotional problems, or problems with conduct.

“These findings add to our growing understanding of food insecurity and its implications, and demonstrate that food insecurity is an independent risk factor for mental health problems among adolescents,” said lead author Dr. Elizabeth Poole-Di Salvo of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York.

“According to the most recent data, food insecurity affects nearly 20 percent of U.S. households with children under the age of 18 years,” said Poole-Di Salvo.

Data was compiled from a 2007 study of 8600 teens. The parent was interviewed by phone and answered questions about difficulty meeting food requirements. Parents also completed a survey about the teen’s emotional symptoms and conduct problems.

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