The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Chilton Authors Paper on Trauma and Food Insecurity

September 25, 2019
Mariana Chilton Headshot
Event Date: 
September 25, 2019

"Adverse Childhood Experiences and Household Food Insecurity: Findings From the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health,” coauthored by Center for Hunger-Free Communities’s Director Mariana Chilton, PhD, was published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine on September 13. The study found a strong correlation between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and household food insecurity using a nationally representative data set.

The study's findings have implications for future attempts to eradicate food insecurity. It demonstrates that nutrition assistance programs must move beyond simple assessments of nutrient intake and financial need and instead must become trauma informed.

“From my perspective, this paper should finish the pivot of the field of food insecurity that we started,” said Chilton. “It should help us to move the conversation beyond food assistance to address societal violence such as mass incarceration, racism, and witnessing domestic or community violence.”

The study utilizes data from the Philadelphia Children’s Health Watch site. Replicating those findings with data from the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health, it demonstrated that the correlation between ACEs and household food insecurity holds true on a national scale.

Read the full study here.


By Gabe Halperin-Goldstien


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