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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The tragedy of malnutrition among children

The tragedy of malnutrition among children | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

28 May 2013, Public Service Europe, LIam Crosby and Frazer Goodwin, Save the Children -- "Although child mortality is declining in developing countries, many young people are too unhealthy and badly educated to enter the workplace.

 

For years, the importance of tackling malnutrition has not been prioritised by political leaders. Although it is the underlying cause of more than two million child deaths every year, it is not recorded on death certificates. And so for too long it has remained an invisible, uncounted problem.

This in turn means that large inequalities in malnutrition rates remain. Around the world, people born in the poorest 40 per cent of households in their country are on average 2.8 times more likely to be stunted that their richer peers; a figure that has remained worryingly high for two decades. These children are in turn more likely to have offspring who are stunted. Their ability to lift themselves out of poverty through hard work and innovation is, therefore, curtailed.

As part of the European Union policy on nutrition adopted by development ministers today, the EU has committed to reducing the number of stunted children by seven million. But without concrete plans and funding this commitment will remain aspirational. As a result, ministers also concluded that there is a need for the European Commission to adopt an 'action plan' elaborating on exactly how its stunting target will be delivered.

We know that malnutrition costs lives and that investing in proven interventions is the right thing to do. Our report Food for Thought sets out how tackling nutrition is also the smart thing to do. The new research shows that those who are malnourished during childhood are nearly 20 per cent less likely to be able to read a simple sentence, and more likely to have fallen behind at school. They then go on to earn as much as 20 per cent less as adults than their better-nourished counterparts. ..."

Read more: http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/3513/the-tragedy-of-malnutrition-among-children#ixzz2alvXcNoG

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Swazi Study: How Hunger "Stunts" African Economies

Swazi Study: How Hunger "Stunts" African Economies | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

26 July 2013, World Food Programme -- "The high cost of child malnutrition in Swaziland was showcased at the launch of the latest country-level study in the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) series on 18 July. The Cost of Hunger in Swaziland, produced by the Government of Swaziland with support from WFP, is the first COHA study in southern Africa and among the first to quantify the social and economic impacts of child undernutrition.

 

The more than 60 people attending the launch in the capital Mbabane, including high-level representatives from the New Partnership for African Development and the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa, learned that Swaziland loses 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP), or some US $92 million annually, from the long-term impact of chronic childhood hunger. Some 270,000 adults, or more than 40 percent of the labor force, suffer from physical stunting as a result of chronic malnutrition in early childhood.

 

The study documents how high stunting rates result in lower work productivity, higher national health costs, missed work hours due to illness, and lower rates of educational attainment. In manual activities, the associated loss is estimated at SZL 126 million (US$ 14.8 million) of potential productivity not realized. In non-manual activities, where the losses are associated with lower schooling achievement, the economic losses are estimated at SZL 251 million (US$29.5 million) in a single year.

 

Moreover, an estimated 37 million working hours were lost in 2009 as a result of people who were absent from the workforce as a result of nutrition-related deaths. This represents SZL 340 million (US$40 million), which is equivalent to 1.4 percent of the country's GDP. ..."

 

Photo: Swaziland’s Chief Economist, Ms. Lonkhuleko Magagula, presents the Cost of Hunger in Africa: Swaziland report on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development

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Tackling Malnutrition in India: The Time is Now

Tackling Malnutrition in India: The Time is Now | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

8 July 2013, blog piece by IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition expert and President of the Ottawa-based Micronutrient Initiative (MI) -- "Tackling undernutrition requires governments to take a hard look at what must be done to change the austere conditions in which too many young children are growing up."

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UNICEF Nigeria - Community-based treatment for malnutrition earns praise in northern Nigeria

UNICEF Nigeria - Community-based treatment for malnutrition earns praise in northern Nigeria | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

23 July 2013, UNICEF, Niyawe, Nigeria, Roar Bakke Sorenson -- "More than a half million children in northern Nigeria have been treated for malnutrition with peanut paste provided by UNICEF. Now villagers refer to the old Hausa kings of West Africa when speaking of the well-being of children, calling them the ‘Children of the King’.

 

Nigeria’s rates of childhood stunting and wasting are among the highest in the world, particularly in the north, where the country reaches into the Sahel region. In many cases these conditions can be life threatening if not treated properly.

 

In 2009, in collaboration with the Nigerian Government, UNICEF started a pilotproject based on research recommending treatment of malnourished children in their home communities, rather than in far-off hospitals or health clinics, a treatment that often comes with an enormous cost for the family.

 

Fatima Yashia is one of the mothers who brought her child, 22-month-old Osman, to the Katanga primary health care centre for treatment. Osman is one of more than 500,000 children who have been through the programme in northern Nigeria in the last five years. Eating ready-to-use therapeutic food over a period of eight weeks, children are able to recover quickly from malnutrition. ..."

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Mali: Unicef and Partners Sound Alarm On Nutrition Crisis in Northern Mali

Mali: Unicef and Partners Sound Alarm On Nutrition Crisis in Northern Mali | Nutrition & Health | Scoop.it

24 July 2013, UN News Service -- "The humanitarian community is sounding the alarm on a nutrition crisis in Gao, in northern Mali, that is taking a toll on the most vulnerable and children under the age of five in particular, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said.

A nutrition and mortality survey carried out by Mali's Ministry of Health and its partners, including UNICEF, found that the rate of global acute malnutrition (GAM) is 13.5 per cent making it a "serious" nutrition situation according to UN classification.

The situation is even more worrying in the Bourem health district, where the rate of GAM is 17 per cent, exceeding the emergency threshold of 15 per cent set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

During the next six months, 22,730 children will be at risk for acute malnutrition, UNICEF warned in a news release. ..."

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Helping India Combat Persistently High Rates of Malnutrition

13 May ReliefWeb -- Rates of malnutrition among India’s children are almost five times more than in China, and twice those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Too often, new mothers are adolescents. A staggering 75% of them are anemic and most on put on less weight during pregnancy than they should - 5 kilograms on average compared to the worldwide average of close to 10kgs.

 

Malnutrition is India’s silent emergency and among India’s greatest human development challenges. Although India has seen strong economic growth over the past 20 years, malnutrition in children under five years of age continues to be among the highest in the world.

 

Rates of malnutrition among India’s children are almost five times more than in China, and twice those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly half of all India’s children - approximately 60 million - are underweight, about 45% are stunted (too short for their age), 20% are wasted (too thin for their height, indicating acute malnutrition), 75% are anemic, and 57% are Vitamin A deficient.

 

Malnutrition affects children’s chances of survival, increases their susceptibility to illness, reduces their ability to learn, increases their chances of dropping out early from school, and makes them less productive in later life. Much of this undernourishment happens during pregnancy and in the first two years of a child’s life and, without appropriate interventions, the damage to brain development and future economic productivity is largely irreversible.

 

Given its impact on health, education and economic productivity, persistent under-nutrition is a major obstacle to human development, impacting India’s much-awaited demographic dividend and the country’s prospects for future economic growth.

 

While aggregate levels of malnutrition in India are alarmingly high, there are significant inequalities across states and socioeconomic groups with girls, rural areas, the poorest people, and scheduled tribes and castes being the worst affected. Six states - Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh - account for over half of India’s malnutrition cases, while an additional 8 to 10% of the burden is concentrated in specific areas of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

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