Academic researchers have highlighted the potential for violence due to childhood hunger or malnutrition.
A recent study at the University of Texas found that poor impulse control is a key factor of crime and violence, often creating a pattern of violence at early stage of childhood.
702's Azania Mosaka spoke to expert, Dr Tracey Ledger, about how rife the issue is in South Africa.
She said that psychological patterns of violence often develop in households where food is scarce as parents are likely to respond with hostility towards children asking for food in families with limited resources.
In households where there are hungry adults who are feeling this incredible pressure to provide food to children, they often develop a violent response towards children asking for food but can't give it to them.— Dr Tracey Ledger, researcher
25% of South Africa's children are malnourished, having serious implications for development at various stages of growth.
Food insecurity continues to increase in the country, with the recent drought exacerbating the ability of farmers to produce food.
A child that is living mostly on maize meal and water daily might not be hungry but they are chronically malnourished.— Dr Tracey Ledger, researcher
Listen to the conversation below: