Hunger is defined as physical craving for food. Figuratively, it means the need for something other than food.
The term hungry pertains to having an appetite or a state where one is ready to eat a meal. If a person does not consume food for a period of time, the hunger pangs become more severe and it becomes very painful. Extended period of hunger will force a person to eat anything such as grass and soil to feed their hunger. Doing this is actually counterproductive or produces a negative effect since energy is required to digest the substance. Eating substances without nutrients could lead to malnutrition such as Kwashiorkor and marasmus. Rabbit starvation is a predicament where one’s diet caused acute malnutrition even if the victim eats quantities of food daily. The prolonged malnourishment may lead to death.
Sometimes hunger is a medical condition where an organism uses its protein tissue such as muscles to produce energy. This occurs after all sugars and fats are consumed.
Fasting just like hunger is a state where people do not eat for a period of time. But unlike hunger fasting is voluntary. A hunger strike is often used to protest peacefully.
Hunger and its Social Implications
It is a basic human need to eat at least three times a day. But we are all aware of the fact that some people are not able to do so. Some can manage to eat twice or once daily. But the less fortunate ones could not eat a decent meal at all. Everyday is a huge struggle for them to put food on the table. Millions of people are affected with this widespread phenomenon worldwide. World hunger is simply too prevalent to ignore. Most of the victims of hunger unfortunately are the ones who need food the most. These marginal members of the society affected by hunger involve children, aged person, sick and the poor.
Their hungry state made them all the more pitiable. And it isn’t enough anymore to turn a blind eye to the growing reality that more and more people are hungry everyday. Extreme hunger drives people to do extreme measures such as living a life of crime. Desperation for food drives some people to vanquish all thoughts of morality to be able to address their immediate need for food. Hunger, after all, is no longer an individual concern but a social problem, a stigma that requires solution.
Due to this growing concern within the affected society several persons, organizations, and nations spearheaded campaigns to end poverty.
Causes of Hunger
There is no food shortage in the world. Yet the prevalence of hunger prompts us to look deeply. What could be the probable causes why malnutrition and hunger affects one of every seven people worldwide?
The United Nations World Food Programme took a closer look at the issue and arrived at the following causes:
* A number of people don’t have the financial means to secure food
* Several people live too far from the food market or are found in areas that are inaccessible
* Some poor people do not have a place to plant or have the tools needed to grow crops for their consumption
* Some people who have the means to grow food are afflicted by other external factors such as insects, drought, floods and war that prevent the growth of crops
* Some people do consume food everyday but still suffer from malnutrition because of lack of knowledge on the necessity of balanced diet such as cereals, vegetables, meats, dairy products and other items.
After coming up with the causes, United Nations World Food Programme and other aid organizations worldwide come up or implement measures to counter world hunger. These include the following:
World Hunger Solutions
* Countering famine by providing food to those who need it in emergencies
* Alleviating poverty by helping poor people find jobs or train them for money-making ventures;
* Information drive to educate people on well-balanced diet;
* Helping make farming more productive to be able to supply enough food the world’s growing population
Individual Action Against Poverty
* Volunteer time and efforts to help the hungry in your community this may include cooking at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter or donating canned foods to a local group
* Information drive by creating websites devoted to hunger issues to be able to raise awareness about hunger in community
* Writing and calling local and national politicians to help make legislative acts to counter hunger
* Establish or sign up for a group that helps the hungry.