Childhood hunger can fuel violence later in life

Medical experts have suggested that kids who go hungry more than two times are likely to become more vulnerable to violence and anger in later stages of life.

Last Updated: Jun 22, 2016, 09:16 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Medical experts have suggested that kids who go hungry more than two times are likely to become more vulnerable to violence and anger in later stages of life.

Thirty-seven percent of the study's participants who had frequent hunger as children reported that they had been involved in interpersonal violence.

Of those who experienced little to no childhood hunger, 15 percent said they were involved in interpersonal violence.

Previous research has shown that childhood hunger contributes to a variety of other negative outcomes, including poor academic performance.

The current study is among the first to find a correlation between childhood hunger, low self-control and interpersonal violence.

"Good nutrition is not only critical for academic success, but now we're showing that it links to behavioral patterns. When kids start to fail in school, they start to fail in other domains of life," said Alex Piquero, Professor of Criminology at University of Texas at Dallas.

The study was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

The researchers used data from the US National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions to examine the relationship between childhood hunger, impulsivity and interpersonal violence. 

Participants in that study responded to a variety of questions including how often they went hungry as a child, whether they have problems controlling their temper, and if they had physically injured another person on purpose.

The findings suggest that strategies aimed at alleviating hunger may also help reduce violence, Piquero said.

(With IANS inputs)