Nutrition & Health
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Nutrition & Health
Curating articles on #food, #nutrition, #health including related topics such as #malnutrition #obesity #diabetes #foodlabeling #stunting #supplements. #biofortified, #omega-3s. Senior editor/curator - Margaret Carroll Boardman Ph.D.
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Breastfeeding Duration May Be Associated with Intelligence

Breastfeeding Duration May Be Associated with Intelligence | Nutrition & Health |

30 July 2013, VOANews, Jessica Berman -- "Add increased intelligence to the list of benefits associated with breastfeeding.

According to researchers, children who were breastfed longer had higher scores on intelligence or IQ tests.

Using standardized tests, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts measured the IQ of some 1,300 children whose mothers were enrolled in a long-term study that looked for ways to improve maternal and child health.

Investigators tested the youngsters at age 3 to determine their ability to understand language. Lead researcher Mandy Brown Belfort says aptitude was an average of 2.5 percent higher among children who received nothing but breast milk for the first year, compared to infants who were given formula.

“And then at age 7, we looked at verbal and non-verbal IQ and there the effect was a little bit stronger.  So, for each additional month of breastfeeding, the IQ score was about a third of a point higher," said Belfort.

Belfort, a neonatologist at Boston Children’s and professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, says breastfeeding was not associated with higher scores on a test that measured memory and learning.

However, researchers found that visual motor skills, or the ability of the eyes to guide movements, were better among 3 year olds whose mothers consumed two or more servings of fish per week.

At this point, Belfort says investigators can only speculate as to the reasons why breastfed children had higher IQs.

“One is that there are either nutrients or other substances in breast milk that benefit the developing brain but haven’t been discovered yet, and so aren’t being added routinely to infant formula," she said.

Another possible explanation for the effect of breastfeeding duration on IQ, according to Belfort, is there is something about the interaction between mother and baby that boosts the child’s intelligence.

A study on the link between the length of breastfeeding and IQ in children is published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.  

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A Big Week for Nutrition, SUN Adds 5 Members - Institute Notes: A Dialogue on Overcoming Hunger and Poverty

A Big Week for Nutrition, SUN Adds 5 Members - Institute Notes: A Dialogue on Overcoming Hunger and Poverty | Nutrition & Health |

6 June 2013, Bread for the World Blog -- "This is shaping up to be a big week for global nutrition—and not just because of the “Nutrition for Growth” pledging event in London and “Sustaining Political Commitments to Scaling Up Nutrition,” the gathering of civil society leaders hosted by Bread for the World and Concern Worldwide, scheduled for June 8 and June 10 respectively. It was just confirmed last Friday that five new countries have joined the country-led Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement, bringing the total membership to 40.


... SUN started with a handful of member countries, including Uganda, Malawi, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Ghana. The rapid growth of the movement is good news since joining SUN means that a country is committed to tackling the problem of malnutrition during the “1,000 Days,” the period between pregnancy and age 2 when lack of nutrients causes permanent physical and cognitive damage."

GR2Food's insight:

Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) -

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Southern Africa facing disaster as food crisis looms

Southern Africa facing disaster as food crisis looms | Nutrition & Health |

U.K. Dept for Intn'l Development, 11 July 2013 -- "International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone announces support to help millions facing food crisis in Malawi and Zimbabwe.


Britain will provide up to £35 million to help millions of the world’s poorest people survive a looming food crisis that is set to grip Southern Africa, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone announced in Malawi today.


Rising food prices have combined with unpredictable weather to leave food stocks dangerously low across the region.


Malawi, which was a net exporter of maize just a few years ago, has now seen stocks depleted to a quarter of its annual average after the worst harvest in 7 years. Meanwhile maize prices have more than doubled over the past year.


In Zimbabwe, early indications show that the harvest will be significantly worse than last year, when 1 in 5 people in rural areas – 1.6 million people – did not have enough to eat before British support was dispersed.


International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said:


“Countries across Southern Africa are facing disaster as a looming food crisis threatens to leave millions hungry.


“British support will save countless lives in 2 of the worst-affected countries in the region, ensuring the most vulnerable people in Malawi and Zimbabwe are not forgotten as the crisis worsens.”


Britain will provide up to £20 million in food assistance to Malawi over the next 12 months. The humanitarian package will support the World Food Programme (WFP) and international NGOs, and will provide:


* Nearly half a million vulnerable people with food and cash transfers;

* school meals to over 800,000 school children; and

* treatment for 18,000 malnourished children and pregnant women."


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G8 nutrition meeting offers chance to save millions of children

6 June 2013, -- French MEP Marielle de Sarnez is a member of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and vice chair of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Cypriot MEP Eleni Theocharous, a paediatric surgeon, is vice president of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and a member of the European People’s Party.


For less than the cost of a typical family’s weekly grocery bill in Europe, we can prevent a child from dying before his or her 5th birthday, Marielle de Sarnez and Eleni Theocharous argue ahead of the G8 Nutrition for Growth Summit on 8 June.


So how is it possible that we allow almost 3 million children to die from a lack of nourishment, or from diseases that could have been prevented with proper nutrition?


It’s a question we should all be asking our heads of states, ministers, politicians, and other key decisionmakers as they prepare to spend an entire day on Saturday (8 June) discussing childhood undernutrition and what to do about it. Ahead of this important meeting, we members of the European Parliament together with colleagues at the national level have signed a call for action. Today, more than 50 parliamentarians are calling for increased efforts to end the silent crisis of undernutrition.


On Saturday, the UK and Brazilian governments will host a Nutrition for Growth summit in London before the G8 meetings begin. Decisionmakers from developed and less developed regions of the world will join private foundations and the private sector to decide how we can ensure children around the world get enough nutritious food to eat during the first years of their lives.


It should focus their minds to know that during the time the summit will meet, another 6,000 children will have died due to a lack of adequate nutrition – a situation that is completely preventable with proven, basic solutions. We know that specific interventions – such as ensuring women and children can access essential vitamins and nutrients – during the 1,000 days from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until her child’s 2nd birthday gives children the right start to grow up healthy.

GR2Food's insight:

statement made ahead of the G8 "Nutrition for Growth" Summit to be held in London 8 June 2013 (sponsored by the UK and Brazilian governments)

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