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Associations Between Participation in the National School Lunch Program, Food Insecurity, and Child Well-Being


Author Info

  • Rachel Dunifon
  • Lori Kowaleski-Jones


This paper examines the associations between food insecurity, National School Lunch Program (NSLP) participation, and children?s well-being. We address problems of selection by restricting our sample to children in families in which at least one child participates in the NSLP. Results suggest that food insecurity is associated with behavioral problems, but not health or cognitive difficulties, among children. Additionally, after adjusting for selection, participation in the NSLP does not significantly impact child outcomes; the exception is for children in families experiencing child hunger, for whom participation is associated with reduced behavior problems.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 249.

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Date of creation: 11 Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:249

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Postal: Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, 1155 E. 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637
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  1. Philip M. Gleason & Carol W. Suitor, 2003. "Eating at School: How the National School Lunch Program Affects Children's Diets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(4), pages 1047-1061.
  2. Butler, J S & Raymond, Jennie E, 1996. "The Effect of the Food Stamp Program on Nutrient Intake," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(4), pages 781-98, October.
  3. Oliveira, Victor & Gundersen, Craig, 2000. "Wic And The Nutrient Intake Of Children," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33803, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Peter Gottschalk & John Fitzgerald & Robert Moffitt, 1997. "An Analysis of the Impact of Sample Attrition on the Second Generation of Respondents in the Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 399, Boston College Department of Economics.
  5. John A. Burghardt, 1995. "School Nutrition Dietary Assessment Study: Overview of the Study Design," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 1513, Mathematica Policy Research.
  6. Aboud, Frances E. & Alemu, Tadesse, 1995. "Nutrition, maternal responsiveness and mental development of Ethiopian children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 725-732, September.
  7. Lori L. Reid, 2000. "The Consequences of Food Insecurity for Child Well-Being: An Analysis of Children's School Achievement, Psychological Well-Being, and Health," JCPR Working Papers 137, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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Cited by:
  1. Janice Dias & Gregory Price, 2012. "The Incredible Shrinking Black Woman: Implications of Health Policies," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 381-388, December.
  2. Peckham, Janet G. & Kropp, Jaclyn D., 2012. "Are National School Lunch Program Participants More Likely to be Obese? Dealing with Identification," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124905, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


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