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Kids Who Suffer Hunger In First Years Lag Behind Their Peers In School

Summary and analysis by Alexander Rijo, Healing10 Intern

According to the article “an estimated 13.1 million children live in homes with insufficient food according to the U.S department of Agriculture.” If the family of the children is experiencing hunger, is likely that the children is less ready for kindergarten than their classmates that comes from homes with enough to eat. The younger the child is, the more the effect on their performance in school. Hunger seemed to affect reading scores and the ability of the child to learn. Sometimes the child could have food, but their low performance could be a result of their parents being hungry, which also affects the child development. Research shows “that parents that are hungry, tend to be  irritable, distracted and depressed which can make the parent engage less with their children”. If a someone experienced hunger in their early life, this can affect their ability to success later in life.

Toxic stress is the changes that happen in the body as a result of being exposed to high doses of adversity in childhood. The article relates to toxic stress a lot. The environment where a child lives affects their development. For example, a child that is hungry and their parents do not have anything to give them, the child may start crying what would activate their stress response. The over activation of the stress response can affect the development of your brain and it changes your hormones which leads to poor health.

I can relate to this because to be honest I am always hungry. Luckily, my family always has had food to give me. I know for sure that when I am hungry I just can not think right. I can not imagine how hard it is for little kids that can not  get food for themselves to even focus on succeeding in kindergarten. I mean, they have to rely on their parents for everything and if they do not or can not give them food, it is going to be very hard for them to think and listen in class.


Sometimes, parents might have other things to take care of. It could be their job, sometimes parents do not have food because the money that they get is all to pay bills and they can’t buy enough food for them and their children. When people have  these types of problems it might be easier to get really angry. If someone is angry and hungry, it can definitely affect the way they act and  they treat their child. With all this stress they might snap at their kid and people would think that they are a bad parent when is something that can happen to anyone.

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