There are up to 14 times more children in rural communities who do not get enough to eat than in metropolitan areas, according to a study by Lee Bong-joo, a social welfare expert at Seoul National University.
Lee surveyed 1,150 children between nine and 11 nationwide in 2009, asking them if they are forced to skip dinner. Only 0.2 percent in large cities said yes, and around 1 percent in mid-sized or small towns.
But the proportion jumped to 2.9 percent in rural villages. When asked if they had to skip lunch, the proportion of children in rural communities who said yes was 1.5 percent, compared to 0.7 percent in large cities and 0.3 percent in mid to small-sized towns.
Asked if they were unable to eat breakfast, 13.6 percent of children in rural communities said yes, compared to 9.1 percent in large cities and 12.3 percent in mid to small-sized towns.