CHICAGO -- In a country where the biggest headlines about food are about the prickly issues of overconsumption and weight loss, prolonged hunger is difficult for most people to relate to. 

And yet, just as studies have shown how poverty affects brain development and hinders children even before they start school, so are researchers uncovering the very long-term effects of food insufficiency on children. 

First, some harsh facts. 

The nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, recently released its latest report on food insecurity in counties and congressional districts. Food insecurity is defined by the Agriculture Department as the measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.


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