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May 1998

The Painful Reality of Hunger

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998;152(5):423-424. doi:10.1001/archpedi.152.5.423

THE PAINFUL realization that hunger affects a distressingly large number of our children and youth has become unavoidable. We are a rich country, for many but obviously not all: yet hunger ("food insufficiency" or "food insecurity") is anything but a rare occurrence. In this issue of the ARCHIVES, Cutts et al1 report that in an inner-city population that is largely low income and ethnically diverse, approximately 1 in 15 children was hungry. The Community Childhood Hunger Identification Project (CCHIP) concluded, in 1995, that almost 1 of 5 low-income families (<185% of the federal poverty level) with at least 1 child younger than 12 years were hungry in some part of 1 or more months per year.2 Clearly, hunger is a very real event to millions of children in the United States.