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Expansion of Child Tax Credit Associated With Greater Food Security

May 4, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
Expansion of Child Tax Credit Associated With Greater Food Security

Research published Monday in Health Affairs finds that the temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit during the COVID-19 pandemic reduced both food insecurity and children’s intake of added sugars in participating households.

A temporary expansion of the Child Tax Credit was offered during the COVID-19 pandemic to give additional income to families, with no restrictions on use from July through December 2021.

To conduct the study, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of South Carolina surveyed participating parents online before receiving the benefit and three months after. 


The findings show that food and beverage purchases were the most common use of the expanded child tax credit funds, particularly in households with very low food security. 



The child tax credit expansion was also associated with decreases in children’s consumption of added sugar, sugar-sweetened beverages and sweetened fruit beverages.

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

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