"The Role of Food Insecurity in Developmental Psychopathology"

Robert R. Althoff MD, PhD, Merelise Ametti BA, Farryl Bertmann PhD, RDN

Article in Preventative Medicine, Volume 92, November 2016

Read full article here: www.elsevier.com/locate/ypmed

 Article Info 

Article history: 

Received 25 February 2016 Received in revised form 23 July 2016 Accepted 6 August 2016 Available online 8 August 2016


Food insecurity Mental illness Depression Developmental psychopathology Child behavioral problem Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Overweight Obesity 


Food security is a condition achieved when all members of a household have access to adequate food at all times for a healthy, active lifestyle. As of 2014, 14% of households in the United States were food insecure. Previous re­search has suggested that household food insecurity is associated with numerous adverse medical and psycho­social outcomes across the lifespan. In this narrative review, we examine current research on food insecurity, specifically as it relates to child psychopathology and risk factors thereof: namely, parental mental illness and poor diet and metabolic health. Moreover, we begin to speculate about behavioral and physiological mechanisms by which these conditions may influence one another, and discuss possible interventions through enhanced screening and treatment, parent training, and provision of high quality foods to vulnerable households. Further research is needed to the effects of child and parental mental health on metabolic outcomes in families with food insecurity.

 © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



Ann Marie Martin