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10th Dec 2015

One in five Irish kids have gone to bed hungry

Katie Mythen-Lynch

A worrying new health study has revealed that one in five children in Ireland has gone to school or to bed hungry. 

The Health Behaviours in School Children survey 2014, which involved children aged between 10 and 17, showed that 22 per cent of children said they did not have access to food at home, a figure that has worsened since 2010, when 21 per cent of children reported regular hunger.

Sixteen per cent of children in this age group say they are attempting to lose weight by dieting

Launching the survey, Health Minister Leo Varadkar said the problem deserves attention:

“Similar to our last survey, there are still worrying levels of children going to bed hungry and skipping breakfast,”

Previous studies show revealed that 33 per cent of families with children in primary school say they worry about the the cost of feeding their brood.

More than half of teachers surveyed (53 per cent) have noticed children arriving at school hungry at least once a week. More shockingly, 77 per cent of teachers said the number of children coming to school hungry has increased in the last 12 months.