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There are 17 million households that have to skip meals in order to make ends meet.
Child hunger costs the US economy at least 28 billion dollars per year “because poorly nourished children perform less well in school and require far more long-term health care spending,” says US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsac
“Further, food insufficiency severely hampers children’s emotional, intellectual, and physical development, and it strongly hinders the upward mobility of their parents”, Mr. Vilsac continues.
On the other end of the scale is childhood obesity.
A third of the nation’s youth are obese or are on the road to becoming so.
“Research shows that youngsters who are either obese or who are hungry simply do not learn as well as they ought to,” said Mr. Vilsack.
Mr. Vilsack called on lawmakers to “appropriate one billion dollars a year more into programs” aimed at ending these two twin crises.
Not only was it morally wrong for so many children to be going hungry in the world’s richest nation, but hunger and obesity also impact the economy, US competitively, and even national security, Mr. Vilsack argued.
In his child nutrition bill, President Barack Obama, in his budget proposal for 2011, set aside an additional one billion dollars a year over a 10 year span.
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