Emergency SNAP ends with half of US children not eating vegetables daily

  • Emergency SNAP benefits end this month, which means benefits will return to normal.
  • Half of American children don’t eat vegetables daily and a third don’t eat fruit daily, according to CDC data.
  • The children surveyed consumed “sweetened drinks” more regularly than fruits and vegetables.

Nearly half of US children whose parents were surveyed in a new report had not consumed a daily vegetable during the previous week.

A study of more than 18,000 children ages 1 to 5 found that 49.1% ate no vegetables daily, 32.1% ate no fruit daily, and 57.1% drank sugary beverages weekly, according to the Centers for Control and Prevention. of Diseases.

The 2021 National Child Health Survey (NSCH), conducted by the US Census Bureau, asked parents to report their child’s intake in the previous week because “estimates of dietary intake for young children are outdated at the national level and unavailable in the state.” level,” according to the CDC.

“Many young children do not consume fruits and vegetables daily and regularly consume sugary drinks,” the agency said. “Federal nutrition programs and state policies and programs can support improvements in dietary quality by increasing access to and availability of healthy fruits, vegetables and beverages.”

It comes as the COVID surge in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is set to end after the February issuance, meaning families benefiting from SNAP will see their benefits returned to their normal amount without the added supplement, so according to the Food and Nutrition Service.

Additionally, families who rely on SNAP and Social Security benefits will see their SNAP benefits decrease “due to the significant cost of living increase on Social Security benefits that took effect on January 1, 2023,” according to the FNS.

Responses to the NSCH survey varied by state. About 30% of Vermont kids ate no vegetables daily in the week before the survey, compared with 64% of Louisiana kids, according to the CDC. Responses also varied by ethnicity, where the highest proportion of children who did not eat fruits and vegetables daily were black children and the lowest proportion were white children.

“Compared to children living in food-sufficient households, those living in low- or low-nutrition households were less likely to eat a fruit or vegetable daily and were more likely to consume sugar-sweetened beverages during the previous week.” CDC said.

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