Nov 10, 2017 in Medicine


Hunger is the term used as for designation of a feeling connected with a certain physiological condition of an organism as well as for designation in a social sense of the mass phenomenon which is expressed in long insufficiency of food satisfaction of big groups of the population.

Local hunger is “a condition of an organism caused by insufficient supply of substances, necessary for homeostasis maintenance” (Shiva, 2012). The human body has to possess a homeostasis to keep stability and to exist. The process of a hunger satisfaction for a person happens rather fast in comparison with other live organisms: the food satisfies the feeling of hunger approximately in 7 minutes after its assumption.

Global hunger is a social disaster caused by long shortage of the food which leads to mass death of the population in the territory of large regions. Hunger can be of two types: absolute and relative.

Absolute hunger, also called “scarce”, can be characterized by a shortcoming or a total absence of the minimum quantity of the food necessary for maintenance of life of an organism (Shah, 2010).

Relative hunger, also called hidden (or insufficient), can be characterized by a chronic consumption of low-quality food with a low maintenance of nutritious elements and vitamins necessary for the activity of an organism that causes numerous diseases and reduces average life expectancy.

The feeling of hunger is familiar to each person. Speaking simply, hunger is when there is a wish to eat and drink. It is possible to overcome the feeling of hunger – it is necessary to eat at least a piece of bread and to drink at least a glass of water. If such an opportunity is not present and it is not expected, then people die after a certain time.

Beside a somatic impact, hunger has an essential impact on mentality and on behavior of a person. The feelings become dull, the memory decreases, thought processes are slowed down and broken, the control over own behavior is lost, the will is suppressed, there are various visual and acoustical hallucinations, the apathy, alternating with short-term surges of increased irritability and aggression, increases.

An immediate cause of death during hunger can be both an extreme exhaustion and a development of any intercurrent disease caused by a food insufficiency and a decrease in immunity.

Global hunger is the main problem of the whole planet Earth. A quarter of all the lands have strongly degraded until now that threatens the mankind with the food crisis (Shah, 2010).

The rise in prices of the International organization, containing 55 types of food goods in December 2010 exceeded 214 points (Shah, 2010). The cost of food has never risen so strongly yet. For example, the food generally grew in price for 24,3% on the planet in a year (Shah, 2010). Thus, at the very end of 2010 the growth of cost on food was accelerated: it was 3,7% in November, 4,3% - in December (Shah, 2010). Respectively, hunger amplified in the poor countries.

According to the food and agricultural organization UN for September 2010, the number of the people, suffering from chronic hunger, made 925 million that is less than in 2008 on 98 million people (Shiva, 2012). 578 million from them live in the Asian and Pacific Region, 239 million – in Africa (to the South from Sahara), 108 million — in other countries (Shiva, 2012). Two thirds of the starving people live in seven countries: China, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Indonesia.

In developing countries 11 million children die aged till five. 6 million children die of hunger and malnutrition in the world every year (Shah, 2010). 300 million cases of malaria are annually registered. One million patients with malaria die. All the statistics would not be so grieved if people had a possibility to eat normally.

One of the main problems of the people not getting enough to eat is a huge inequality between women and men. The fact of inequality affects directly women’s malnutrition. In a number of regions men and boys consume twice more calories than women and girls though the latter carry out a great deal of a very hard work.

Nevertheless, the fact remains: billion people in the world starve and million people die of starvation, especially at children’s age. One cannot understand why the death “mows” people for hunger today as there is a sufficient production of food (Shiva, 2012). When in primitive times our ancestors, who knew neither agriculture nor cattle breeding, got to themselves food with collecting and hunting by means of primitive labor instruments, and were compelled to doom to die old men and babies in order the tribe to survive as well as to eat strangers captured, such ill treatment can be understood. Life laws in those far times were severe and it was necessary to look for food not to starve to death every day. However, when in the XXI century at the disposal of the mankind there are powerful productive forces, capable to provide 3500 kilocalories per day for everyone, and at the same time billion people do not have food, then the matter is not in the helplessness of a person in the face of the Nature, but, probably, in the nature of the most human society.

The aggravation of a food problem is the phenomenon of not only the second half of the XX century. In the last centuries the food crisis also covered this or that country or the group of the countries. Lean years or natural disasters were the reasons of the emergence of such crises. Now the food problem does not grow out of a natural disaster or a crop failure. It is caused by a variety of reasons of social and economic character, including the process of industrialization, which caused a rough stream of migration of the rural population to the city, the rapid growth of the number of the population, a high degree of urbanization and a low productivity of crops in the developing countries.

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