What Is Hunger?

The definition of hunger is:

  • A craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient.
  • An uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food
  • A weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food

When you are hungry and there is no food available, your body starts to feed on itself. It feeds on your own fat and body tissues. If you don’t eat for long period of time, you will eventually lose about 50 percent of your body weight and your skin becomes thin, stiff and pale. You are always cold and your hair becomes dry and sparse and eventually falls out. After about eight to 12 weeks without food, you starve to death.

This an extreme version of hunger and most people in our country will never experience this, but people who are chronically hungry do experience undernourishment. The human effects are a lack of energy and the inability to think clearly. Children who are undernourished have a hard time studying and learning. They also may develop more slowly than other children. Unfortunately, this also leads to weakened immune systems and chronic illness.

For more information about hunger and homelessness, please visit: Nevada Department of Education