County agencies kicked off Nutrition Month on March 1 with a panel discussion on food insecurity, and it wasn’t all good news.
“About 33 percent of the adults in the county are obese, but I think more concerning is 17 percent of the kids in this county are obese,” said Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, Anne Arundel County’s health officer.
Thirteen percent of Anne Arundel County residents live in areas with poor access to healthy food, he said.
“One of the key things to understand is that obesity is quite tightly linked to poverty and has to do with types of foods that are available for people,” Kalyanaraman said.
According to Kalyanaraman, those numbers are in line with Maryland’s average, which leaves room for improvement.
Pam Brown — executive director of the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families — explained how hunger in children can lead to not only health issues but also aggression, low achievement and a lack of good social skills.
“For me, food is part of a package of things that we really need to address as we think about raising all of our children to be ready for school.”
Karrisa Kelly, director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, talked about access to transportation and other barriers for the elderly population. The Anne Arundel County Food Bank and the other experts shared their thoughts about how the pandemic affected food insecurity and how their agencies adapted to meet the needs of county residents.
Those subjects covered only a portion of the full meeting, which can be viewed on the Anne Arundel County Food Bank’s YouTube page.
Here are some other notes from the meeting:
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