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Low-Income Moms Risk Obesity To Feed Kids

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., March 19 (UPI) — Low-income U.S. mothers who struggle to provide food for their families are often at risk for obesity while trying to feed their children, researchers say.

Molly Martin, assistant professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University, and Adam Lippert, a graduate student, said low-income mothers — who are often the food managers in the household — might skip meals and eat cheaper but less nutritious foods, to ensure their children are fed.

The sociologists found food-insecure mothers were more likely than fathers who face food shortages, as well as food-insecure, childless women and men, to be obese or overweight.

The researchers analyzed data of 7,931 participants in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics — data on weight and food insecurity in 1999.

The study, published in Social Science and Medicine, found food-insecure mothers gain more weight over time, compared to all food-insecure men and food-insecure women not caring for children.

“To make sure mothers can provide for their children, they may eat only once a day, for example, or they may eat erratically, which are all behaviors that are obesity risks,” Lippert said in a statement.

Besides causing weight gain, irregular eating can also cause a metabolic response that retains fat, the researchers said.

Women who have given birth tend to gain weight, but the researchers determined having children did not explain the weight gain for the food-insecure mothers.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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  • s c

    There are so many facets in this article. Where do I begin? How long has the concept of a ‘food-insecure’ man or woman existed? Who thunk up such a brilliant term?
    Didn’t those people learn anything in public school? Was the curriculum defective? Is there any correlation between someone being a food-insecure man or woman and the idea that they’re victims of society?
    Is Uncle Scam thinking of intervening? Does Penn State have any concrete suggestions, or are they fishing for government research grants? How long has this ‘problem’ existed? What’s the difference between someone who’s food-insecure and someone who’s food-secure?
    I’m sorry, but I can’t help having the feeling that between Penn State and UPI, this issue is about as close to the price of beans in China as a topic can get. I’m ready to bet that Uncle Scam is ready to jump in and offer food-insecure people a bailout, college scholarships or interviews and a chance at being on the 6 o’clock news. And to think I quit watching TV. Darn.

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