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The Heat or Eat Dilemma

(March 5, 2008) Dr. Deborah A. Frank a professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and principal investigator of the Children’s Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program (C-SNAP), testified before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families of the United States Senate on the positive impact of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on babies and toddlers under the age of 3 years.  Dr. Frank’s testimony as well as the report Fuel for Our Future shows that energy insecurity compromises a child’s health and development.

In an Op-Ed in the Boston Globe penned by Dr. Frank and Joseph P. Kennedy II, chairman and president of Citzens Energy Corp the “heat or eat dilemma,” they described what was depressingly familiar to America’s poor and near-poor families and their doctors. Federal research shows that while both rich and poor families increase their expenditures on home fuel during the winter, poor families offset this cost through decreasing food purchases, with an average 10 percent decrease in caloric intake.

The Kellogg Foundation funds the C-SNAP efforts through a grant to the Boston Medical Center. To learn more about this project, read the featured project story on our web site.


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