UT Dallas study correlates childhood hunger with later violence

Alex Piquero's study follows findings that hunger issues also led to poor academic performance. | Contributed photo

Research conducted by the University of Texas at Dallas shows that children who fight hunger issues have a greater risk of developing impulse control problems and violence issues.

The study, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, noted that kids who experienced frequent hunger grew up to be twice as likely to injure others intentionally. These findings come after previous research showed that hunger issues also led to poor academic performance, and is the first of its kind to show 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,” Alex Piquero, a professor of criminology, said.

According to data, more than 15 million children in the United States face food insecurity, which means they do not always have access to adequate nutrition.

“At the very least, we need to get children the nutritional food they need,” Piquero said. “It’s not a very difficult problem to address, and we can envision lots of gains.”

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UT-Dallas 800 W Campbell Rd Richardson, TX - 75080

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