We are all familiar with the concept of hunger. We miss breakfast, maybe lunch, don’t have time to grab a snack, whatever the case – we feel hunger pangs in our body and are plagued by a lack of concentration and mental stability. In reality, those SNICKERS® ads that market, “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” really aren’t wrong. People in the homeless community or those lacking the ability to provide the proper nutrients to themselves or their families experience hunger in a more intense way that most of us have never known. My Brother’s Keeper is here with some facts about hunger.
How Hunger Affects Your Heart
When your heart is healthy, it pumps a steady supply of blood throughout your body. However, when your heart is hungry it does not have the proper nourishment to produce and pump blood successfully. Your heart has to work harder to pump the blood it does have and in turn, it literally shrinks in the process – negatively affecting the function of the other organs in your body.
How Hunger Affects Your Vital Organs
When you aren’t malnourished, your liver and kidneys successfully filter out toxins and waste while your immune system works to ward off potential disease. When you are hungry, excess toxins build up and your liver and kidneys are unable to properly filter them which results in a weakened immune system that makes you more susceptible to disease and sickness.
How Hunger Affects Your Brain (And Your Child’s)
So, why is it so hard to concentrate when you are hungry? A healthy brain feeds on 20 percent of your body’s energy to operate properly. The energy it feeds on is in the form of food. Without food, you aren’t just starving your stomach – you are starving your brain of its ability to function and concentrate. This can lead to increased stress, health problems, behavior issues, and homelessness.
This is especially harmful for hungry children (both born and unborn). According to Unicef, as many as 17 million babies are born underweight each year due to inadequate nourishment prior to and during pregnancy. This results in lower birth weight, smaller head size and brain weight and increased risk of illness and learning disabilities. If your child is not properly fed and nourished in their first three years of life, they may suffer long term effects that hinder their emotional and social development skills – reducing their motor skills, lowering activity levels, decreasing motivation and ultimately happiness and success.
Talk to My Brother’s Keeper About Helping in Baltimore
To learn more about how to help or to find out more about our services including addiction treatment referrals, prescription assistance, hot meal programs, employment assistance, health services and identifying possible emergency shelter, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.