When a Mother's Love Is Not Enough

By Smythe, Yvonne Voulgaris | Women & Environments International Magazine, Fall/Winter 2011 | Go to article overview

When a Mother's Love Is Not Enough


Smythe, Yvonne Voulgaris, Women & Environments International Magazine


Nutritional Wellness is Everyone's Right

Single mothers living in poverty are highly susceptible to malnourishment. While they are often doing their best to provide healthy food to their children, the research suggests their options are limited. As a result, single mothers may compromise their own nutrition to ensure their children are well-fed. As poverty and illness are inherently linked, single mothers end up in a vicious cycle of illness and poor health.

On the simplest level, the human body is a composite of cells that survive on the nourishment provided by whole foods - foods that have not been refined or processed. It is everyone's fundamental right to have access to healthy, whole foods for survival. Yet, Canada has made these foods the least accessible to those who are at the highest risk for disease: single mothers on social assistance and their children.

According to Statistics Canada, 80% of lone parent households in 2006 were headed by women. As well, single mothers fall statistically into the lowest income category (Statistics Canada, 2006). Food Banks Canada (2011) links child poverty to household income and lists 38% of their recipients as children. Although the correlation between hungry mothers and hungry children has been the focus of many studies over the years, the problem still persists.

The cost of healthy, unadulterated foods, free of pesticides and organophosphates and rich in vitamins and minerals is beyond the means of families with limited budgets. Anderson et al (2003) support the theory that mothers sacrifice their own well-being in order to provide proper amounts and quality foods to their children. They found that dispensing the Canadian Child Tax Benefit Credit and the Goods and Services Tax Credit correlated to a time when "children experienced some improvement in nutritional intake."

Although mothers want to provide proper nourishment to their children, the Canadian government continues to reduce funding that contributes to buying healthy foods that stave off poverty and illnesses associated with higher risk families. As a result, children in low income families, particularly those headed by single mothers, are vulnerable to a number of diseases (chronic and acute) and learning disorders which are linked to food insecurity. Kirkpatrick et al (2010) found that, "Children and youth who experience hunger are more likely to have poorer health, and repeated exposure appears to be particularly toxic." These researchers and scientists found "food insecurity in childhood to be a marker of vulnerability."

As sole providers, most single mothers give themselves completely, emotionally and physically, to their children. They get very little help and suffer personal losses beyond just food. They often lose their health and as sole providers, the fear of leaving their children alone causes greater anxiety. In comparison to partnered mothers, results showed that, "Lone mothers were more likely to be current smokers, overweight or obese. Those with clinical risk for CVD, including diabetes, elevated C-reactive protein, hypercholesterolemia, or hypertension, or all of these, were more likely to be lone mothers" (Buis DS, et al, 2005).

Nutrition is also a vital component in managing mental illness, which is another threat to single mothers. The lack of certain vitamins found in whole grains like millet, spelt, and brown rice - for example B Complex, folic acid, and inositol - contributes to depression; and the lack of good fats, as found in fish, avocadoes, and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, leads to diminished brain capacity and nervous system disorders. The food options available to low-income mothers are the cheaper options, like white, refined pastas that lack fiber and nutrients found in the outer husks of the grains. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

When a Mother's Love Is Not Enough
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.