Sunday, August 15, 2010

Study Confirms Long-term Impact of Childhood Hunger on Health

Multiple studies from respected organizations like Feeding America have confirmed that hunger and malnutrition affect children in many adverse ways, including school performance and cognative development.

Childhood poverty and hunger are very closely linked.  In its 2010 report Kids Count, the New Mexico Voices for Children indicated that the rate of poverty for children in our state (under 18 years of age) is 24 percent.

These studies allude to the long-term effects of childhood hunger, but generally only provide quantifiable data on short- and medium term consequences.

Health effects 10-15 years later
An article in the online version of Time magazine, dated Aug. 2, 2010, reports about a study conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the University of Calgary, which confirms the long-term effects of childhood hunger on health.   Here is an excerpt:
Most studies to date have offered only snapshots of childhood health, assessing the short-term impact of hunger over a period of time.

In the new analysis, the scientists found that children who went hungry at least once in their lives were 2½ times more likely to have poor overall health 10 to 15 years later, compared with those who never had to go without food. 
"Our research shows that hunger and food insecurity are really damaging in terms of children's life chances," says lead author Sharon Kirkpatrick, a visiting fellow at NCI.
Read full article

(Thanks to my friend Sarah Newman at the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger for passing on this link).

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