Hunger in America

Help Fight Hunger in America — Support our Healthy Choices Program

How can you be malnourished and obese at the same time? Turns out, for 1 in 3 kids in America, it’s pretty darn easy. When kids live in poverty—when struggling families have to make the choice between putting cheaper, unhealthy food on the table or no food at all—eating healthy often isn’t a choice at all. As a result, more than half of children living below the poverty line in rural America are overweight or obese.

Food for Thought:

  • More than 23 million U.S. kids are overweight or obese.
  • The obesity rates for children ages 6-11 has quadrupled over the past four decades.
  • More than 60 percent of 5- to 10-year-olds have at least one risk factor for heart disease.
  • 1 in 3 children born in the U.S. today will grow up to have type 2 diabetes.
  • In Save the Children impact areas, an average of 59 percent of children do not have access to fresh, healthy foods; in some areas, it’s as much as 98 percent.

Making Healthier Choices

Every child deserves a chance at a healthy start. Our Healthy Choices program exposes children to healthier ways of living through activity, nutrition lessons and balanced food choices so they can be healthy and active in both learning and life. Eating well and being physically active at an early age helps children focus, improve attendance, boost academic performance and grow up to be healthy adults.

Ten Power-Packed (and Kid-Friendly) Snack Tips



Success Story - Kentucky Healthy Choices Pep Rally

Hunger in America

Children and school leaders in rural south eastern Kentucky were treated to a pep rally to celebrate the success of its Healthy Choices program. With support of the PepsiCo Foundation, the program promoted healthy, active lifestyles and good nutrition choices for more than 5,000 school children across the region over the last three years. Save the Children and the PepsiCo Foundation are now replicating the successes of the Kentucky-based pilot program across rural America. Research shows an estimated 52 percent of rural children living in poverty are overweight or obese. Poor health and nutrition can negatively impact a child’s academic performance and overall growth and development. Through its Healthy Choices program, Save the Children helps schools become agents of change for improving children’s health and helping children achieve their full potential.

Kids' Corner - Emily's Story

Hunger in America

Emily is six years old. She loves to eat her salad during snack time in the after school program at Alamosa Elementary School. Her Physical Education teacher and Save the Children Healthy Choices Coordinator, Anthony, helps children like Emily learn about healthy eating habits from "Tops and Bottoms" vegetables that children can find on "top" or in the "bottom" of a garden.

Learn more about Save the Children’s work in the United States.

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