Food systems, health, and well-being: understanding complex relationships and dynamics of change
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The proposed analyses will allow us, for the first time, to identify critical host and microbial molecular biomarkers that define how early nutrition shapes infant weight gain trajectory and BMI and body composition at age 2.While the importance of food to health and well-being is clear, the specific ways in which food systems contribute to individual and community health are not well understood. This is a complex issue, which requires improving food systems as well as changing mindsets and behaviors of individuals within the food system.Nearly 14.3 percent (17.5 million) of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during 2013. Both children and adults were food insecure in 9.9 percent of households with children (3.8 million households). Although children are usually protected from substantial reductions in food intake even in households with very low food security, nevertheless, in about 0.9 percent of households with children (360,000 households), one or more child also experienced reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns at some time during the year (USDA ERS, 2013).According to USDA ERS (2013), the prevalence of very low food security in various types of households followed a pattern similar to that observed for food insecurity overall. Very low food security was more prevalent than the national average (5.6 percent) for the following groups:Households with children headed by a single woman (10.8 percent),Women living alone (7.4 percent) and men living alone (7.6 percent),Black, non-Hispanic households (10.1 percent),Hispanic households (6.7 percent),Households with incomes below 185 percent of the poverty line (14.4 percent),Households located in principal cities of metropolitan areas (6.3 percent), andHouseholds located in the South (6.2 percent).In addition, the connection between obesity and food insecurity is increasing in the US. Studies indicate that one in three food insecure adults were obese. Food insecurity was associated with obesity in the overall population and most population subgroups (Pan et al., 2012.........