It turns out there are a lot of really serious side effects to one of the most common issues plaguing the world.
Approximately 805 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about 1 in 9 people on earth. And that stat gets even sadder when you understand all of the impacts of malnutrition on the body — especially on a child.
Hunger affects the brain.
A healthy brain uses 20% of the body's energy that comes from food. Not enough food means not enough energy for the brain to function properly.
Imagine how well a starved brain can do in the classroom. And yet 66 million primary-school children attend classes hungry across the developing world.
Then there's the heart.
This is the information that actually hurt my heart just to think about. A healthy heart pumps blood steadily throughout the body.
The heart of a hungry child actually shrinks.
Therefore it has to work extra hard to pump enough blood, which in turn affects almost every other organ inside the body. Which means, you guessed it:
Hunger damages vital organs — and the immune system.
With weakened immune systems, it's no wonder that poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under 5 each year.
The impacts of hunger show on the outside of the body with cracked, unhealthy skin (allowing for increased risk of infection) and on the inside of the body, where malnourished children's bones actually stop growing.
1 out of 6 children — roughly 100 million — in developing countries is underweight.
With all of these side effects, it's no wonder the impacts of malnutrition are so serious and so long-lasting that the best solution is really the only solution:
Stop hunger before it starts.
Check out the video below to see how World Vision recommends we catch world hunger and save the minds, hearts, and bodies of millions of children all around the world.