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The New American Food Disorder: Overweight and Undernourished Kids

Plum Organics

Chew on this:

One in 3 babies in the U.S. are overweight by nine months of age.


One in 5 American children are “food insecure,” meaning that they must skip meals, cut back on the quality or quantity of food they eat, or rely on emergency food from charities. 

We are living in a country with record numbers of obesity, and food related disease like diabetes, yet it’s also home to an almost equal number of kids who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.

But here’s the real paradox: These are the very same children.

They’re not starving for calories; they’re starving for nutritious food. Juicy oranges. Crisp apples. Sweet carrots. A buttery soft chicken breast. Healthy foods like this are not happening for these kids, and it’s not because they’re “picky eaters.” When you live on $3 a day from food stamps, you’re going to buy the cheapest food you can get, and that’s processed food. They’re eating food like white bread, white rice, and sugary cereals. Call it the New American Food Disorder: Overweight and undernourished.

These are children you know. When a parent hasn’t had a raise in three, four, five years, yet her grocery costs have steadily risen, this is what she has to resort to. Fortunately there’s a movement afoot that’s working to improve the health and lives of these children, and Parenting is honored to be a partner in it.

It began with the making of the critically acclaimed documentary, A Place at the Table, and the baby food company, Plum Organics. Parenting contributing editor Alan Greene, M.D., helped Plum Organics CEO Neil Grimmer develop a Super Smoothie pouch, an organic nutrition-packed fruit, veggie, and grain blend to address the nutritional deficits of babies and toddlers suffering from food insecurity. Calling their new initiative The Full Effect, Plum is donating a Super Smoothie pouch to organizations including Baby Buggy and Convoy of Hope for every movie ticket sold, every online download of the film purchased, and every copy of the companion book and e-book sold. Plum has committed to providing a half million Super Smoothies to babies and toddlers this year alone! 

We joined Dr. Greene, Neil Grimmer, and representatives of A Place at the Table in ringing the NASDAQ opening bell last week to kick off The Full Effect. Check out the NASDAQ video here!

Now you can get behind this important cause too, by going to and sharing the message via Facebook and Twitter (nothing like the power of a passionate mom to create change)! You’ll also find a petition to sign and a number to connect you with your local congressional representative. As Neil says, “we should be focusing as a country on feeding every little one like our future depends on it—because it does. Let’s do something profound.”