Why Poor People have Poor Nutrition

Why Poor People have Poor Nutrition


The basis under which the health of people is quantified depends on the food the individuals consume every day. Regarding the poor community, it is evident that the income the population receive does not suffice their basic needs, leave alone the economic needs (Devaney, Marilyn, Barbara, Ellwood, John & Love, 2010). Related research shows that families that have low income fail to afford fresh foodstuffs such as fruits and vegetables, which are an essential factor that makes up a healthy diet. Underlying paradigms suggest that the amount of money a person receives determines the budget he or she will implement, and therefore most households categorized as poor do not get the best of quality and quantity due to financial instability.

Health being a vital factor for survival, if not well maintained, may end up reducing the population of the world as a whole. Continued research suggests that since the economy is dynamic rather than static, the fluctuations incurred over the year tend to either favor or go against the low income-earners (Goering, Stebbins & Siewert, 2011). As a proposal, it would be wise to come up with a flexible, economic budget that would have at all times favor both the fortunate and the unfortunate when regarding the income. In addition to this proposal, other policies that might be implemented include Food Stamp Program, School nutrition programs where breakfast and lunch can be offered, Housing Assistance and offering Special Supplemental Nutrition Package for Ladies, Infants, and Youngsters to enable them get better feeding (Devaney et al., 2010).

Literature Review

Increased poverty is one of the leading causes of poor nutrition, in particular among the kids (Harrid, 2014). Suites That Lessen the Effects of Scarceness on Children state that “scarcity can build kids’ introduction to a broad cluster of issues including substandard housing, lack of nourishment and low-quality mass regulator plans, poor child raising, inadequate human services, as well as low-quality child care, and result in postponed physical, psychological, and socio-emotional development.”

The neediness of such families is so because they are unable to afford enough of what their family needs. Such cases have been reported in many countries especially in Africa such as Uganda and Tanzania, where the economy is high compared to what the average person earns (Devaney et al., 2010). Apart from feeding, other factors that have been noted to affect the nutrition of needy people include high cholesterol, overweight, tooth decays, cancer, diabetes and poor access to health care facilities and social amenities. According to the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the social and care environments also vastly affects the nutrition of humans (Collin, 2014). They continue to add that “the social and care settings comprises a large degree of poor baby sustaining homes, poor home tend to sick youngsters, and weakness mind looking for conduct.”

Also, the Health Poverty Action states that ” the weight of caring for infants has frequently gone up against by a lady, who may need to capitulate her education subsequently or go up against her followed work to help come meet the family unit’s expenditures (Collin, 2014). Passing up an exceptional opportunity for education has long drag effects for a lady’s odds further down the way and for her specific well-being.” Not forgetting the young men, in the case where they end up being fathers at very young ages, it is evident that nutrition for both the wife and the unborn or newborn child might not be as in good physical shape as it is naturally expected due to the hurdles in finding money (Callind, 2006).

Studies have shown that if the known poor communities are given financial support, it is evident that they will not only nourish their health, but will also prove to be more productive even in their work areas. Employment opportunities are limited, and the needy people may lack the strength to apply for the same due to malnutrition (Garak, 2016). According to Five Effects of Poverty, “Basically, the number of persons living in poverty impacts business rates vigorously. Without Education, people are almost certainly not going to pinpoint a well-paying employment opportunity.” The article also adds that the community as a whole is affected by crime, which is related to poverty (Garak, 2016). Poor people will tend to steal money or food to feed their hunger. The Five Effects of Poverty conveys that, “when people are destitute and unemployed, social suffering may undertake control and result to increased crime rates (Where, 2009). At the point when individuals have no cash for the acquisition of necessary requirements, they might be bound to swing to theft with a precise end goal of surviving.”

Potential Solutions

Quite a number feasible solutions that can be implemented to curb this poverty-hunger-issue. The remedies depends on the weight of the same. Also, the policies that can help mitigate this poverty and poor nutrition cycle must first be evaluated for their effectiveness before they are applied (Where, 2009). The few policies that this research found fitting and more reliable are Food Stamp Program, Housing Assistance and offering Special Complimentary Food Package for Infants, Children, and Women to enable them get better feeding as stated above.

According to Where (2009), the policy of offering Special Additional Nourishment Program for Females, Infants, and Children targets newborn babies and breastfeeding children, the parents, the expectant women and Progenies below the age of five years who have been identified to be at a risk of malnutrition. Statistics have shown that this policy can serve at least 5.3 Million Children and 1.6 Million pregnant and breastfeeding women per month who are assisted with food, clothing, education and another requirement (Melissa & Breyer, 2016).

The Housing Assistance system has been able to cover 5.1 Million households every year and can be implemented in areas where the household earnings is a smaller amount than 50% of the middling returns for the particular area with regards to the economic state at the given time (Melissa & Breyer, 2016). The program can assist with food and household assistance services to aid the needy obtain a chance to find work and raise their income.

The policy which this study considered to be most fitting and that can produce better results is the Food Stamp Program. The program is chosen as the most outstanding since it focuses on the assistance in financial needs of the households (Rossi & Peter, 2007). The primary goal line of this program is to develop nutritional eminence. Several appraisals have analyzed the influences of this program that aids in nourishment utilization, concentrating on either one of sustenance consumptions, supplement accessibility, or supplement admissions (Solvin, 2011). Statistics have shown that the policy can support about 28 Million individuals per month, offering the services to household’s whose income is smaller than or equal to about 130% of the federal poverty level (Rossi & Peter, 2007).

In implementing the food stamps, the benefits received will not be withdrawn as cash, but rather they will be attained through the purchase of stuff such as food, seeds, and plants to be grown for the production of food. The benefits will be limited and cannot buy any illegal object such as drugs and alcohol as well as non-food products such as papers or other luxury items (Reash, 2005). The program will target all the age groups; young children who are facing malnutrition, the low-income families, the aged who are unable to support themselves or/and have no external support and pregnant and breastfeeding women. The use of posters and the social media in the advertisement will target a broad range of people from different parts which will enable the information to reach all the affected parties (Gregory, Christian; Michele, Andrews, Ploeg, Margaret, Alisha & Jensen, 2013). With these policies in practice,  positive results would be expected, that is,  the poor people affected by malnutrition will be better fed, and will improve their lifestyle. Also, cases of theft and crime will reduce as a sign that the policy is working fine.

Evaluation of the Policy

            The purpose of assessment is to get the effectiveness of the system compared to the outcomes which would be there if the policy had not otherwise been implemented. Regarding nutrition of the low-income families, the system would yield better results, and persons would be seen more and healthier as compared to their form some time before the policy was implemented (Gregory et al., 2013). In other cases, the crime rates and school dropouts due to lack of enough money will have been solved since the benefits from the food stamps will cater for about 70% of the total food taken by the family, leaving the rest 30% to be added by the bread winner of the same.

This will enable the community to afford such amenities such as education and hospital fees. The evaluation process would be random as this provides a useful statistic to assess the effectiveness of the policy at large (Ratcliffe, Mary, McKernan & Caroline, 2010). Statistical data including the number of homesteads that have benefited from the program per month and annually, the amount of money spent in carrying out the activities, the mortality rates due to nutrition, among other variables would be used in the study to weigh the efficiency of the program (Reash, 2005).


Poverty should not be the cause of malnutrition in the community where people can feed themselves and have enough left. Adoption of the food stump program policy would drastically mitigate the number of children, pregnant mothers and other poor individuals facing malnutrition. The government as well as other aid offering bodies such the World Food Program and World Health Organization should partner in endeavours to quell the poor nutritional problem among the disadvantaged in the society. In implementing all the policies, it is important to learn that sharing is as good as receiving, and when the community is not below the poverty line, only then will the whole world be a better place for everyone


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Collin, W. 2014. U.S. Department of Human Services and Health, Administration for Children and Families. Head Start Program Performance Standards. Federal Register.

Garak, J, 2016. London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene obtained from http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/

Where, D. 2009. Health Poverty Action collected from https://www.healthpovertyaction.org/info-and-resources/the-cycle-of-poverty-and-poor-health/key-facts/

Melissa and Breyer. 2016. Why do poor children have poor diets? From http://www.treehugger.com/health/why-do-poor-children-have-poor-diets.html

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Gregory, Christian; Michele; Andrews, Ploeg,  Margaret; Alisha, Jensen, C. 2013 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Participation Leads to Modest Changes in Diet Quality.

Ratcliffe, Signe-Mary, McKernan; Caroline, F. 2010. How Much Does SNAP Reduce Food Insecurity? Obtained from http://www.urban.org/research/publication/how-much-does-snap-reduce-food-insecurity

Reash, T. 2005. Five effects of Poverty retrieved from retrieved from http://borgenproject.org/5-effects-poverty/

Solvin, G. 2011. Poverty, Health, and Nutrition retrieved from https://www.ifpri.org/division/poverty-health-and-nutrition-phnd

Callind, J. 2006. Food Stamp Program / Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program collected from https://mydss.mo.gov/food-assistance/food-stamp-program

Harrid. H. 2014. The Nutrition n Devaney Marilyn R. Barbara L. Ellwood John M. Love 2010. Programs That Curb the Effects of Poverty on Children.

Goering, J., Stebbins, H., and Siewert, M. 2011. Promoting housing choice in HUD’s rental assistance programs: A report to Congress.

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