Washington: US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Monday urged Congress to plow billions more dollars into programs to end the twin scourges of child obesity and hunger, which impact children, the economy and national security.
"Research shows that youngsters who are either obese or who are hungry simply do not learn as well as they ought to," said Vilsack."Youngsters who are obese take chronic disease into adulthood which substantially reduces their productivity as individuals and causes our health care costs to escalate," he said.And with so many American children obese, military leaders have voiced concerns that not enough youngsters are fit to serve in the army, marine, navy and air force, which could impact US national security, he said.The report says that 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."Further, food insufficiency severely hampers children?s emotional, intellectual, and physical development, and it strongly hinders the upward mobility of their parents," it says.
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