As researchers have searched for ways to explain the childhood obesity epidemic in the U.S., many have posited that a child's race or ethnicity alone can put them at greater risk of becoming overweight or obese.

Kim Eagle, a professor of internal medicine and health management and policy at the University of Michigan, was skeptical of this thinking. His hunch was that poverty was a much more important part of the equation.

Photo by Gabe Hernandez for The Texas Tribune

Texas continues to be home to some of the poorest counties in the country with poverty most prevalent along the Texas-Mexico border, census figures show.

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Could you live on $2 a day? According to a new book, 1.5 million households and 3 million children face that reality. 

Kathreyn Edin and Luke Shaefer's book, $2 A Dayexplores who these people are, how they live, and why they experience such extreme poverty. Shaefer and Edin partially blame welfare reform and unstable jobs. Americans living on $2 a day must make due with unreliable work hours, unsafe working conditions, low wages, and very limited assistance. 

Shanna Peeples On Twitter

LUBBOCK — A high school English teacher in Texas who works with students facing poverty and traumas related to their immigration to the United States on Monday was named the 2015 National Teacher of the Year.

Shanna Peeples from Amarillo was selected for the honor by the Council of Chief State School Officers. She is the first Texas teacher to win the award since 1957.

Peeples works at Palo Duro High, where about 85 percent of students live below the poverty line and where more refugee children are enrolled than in any other high school in the 31,000-student district. She will be recognized by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday.

Peeples said a childhood that exposed her to alcoholism and domestic violence has provided her with empathy for students from Burma, Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq and Cuba, many of who are survivors of emotional or physical trauma in their war-torn homelands. That can make trust difficult, she said.

David Martin Davies

Every Tuesday night for the last 10 years Joan Cheever has come to Maverick Park, in downtown San Antonio to feed the homeless. But this past Tuesday something new happened. The police showed up.

Cheever: He says we have to have a permit. We have a permit. We are a licensed non-profit food truck.

Officer Mike Marrota: Licensed by who?

Cheever: City of San Antonio.

Cheever is a certified chef and licensed food handler. She also runs a non-profit called “The Chow Train.”

Officer Marrota: So do you have the permit?

Cheever: Yeah.