Saturday, February 25, 2012

News Brief: Malnourishment from Rising Food Prices Deemed have Lasting Detrimental Effects

Joseph St. Pierre

This year’s record high food prices have done more than draw stray groans at the supermarket. Indeed, in recent survey for the charity, Save the Children , it has revealed that parents in impoverished countries have been forced to cut back on how much food they feed their kids, often pulling them out of school to work for extra. The survey, which analyzed parents in India, Pakistan, Peru, and Bangladesh, found that a third of surveyed parents claimed that their children complained of not having enough to eat, while a sixth admitted that their children skipped school to work for food. The fact that many of these families already live on nutrient poor staples like rice, maize, or cassava; as well as the projection that a chronically malnourished child can have an IQ up to 15 points lower than their more nourished counterparts, makes these findings all the more somber.
Now, the charity claims that if there remains to be little global initiative regarding this problem, five hundred million the physical and mental development of five hundred million children could be permanently stunted. In response to this grievous forecast, the charity now pushes for the UK government to utilize the London Olympics as means of spearheading a new world effort to fight World hunger. Calling upon UK Prime Minister David Cameron to hold a World Hunger Summit when world leaders arrive in London for the games, the charity hopes to see a new global effort addressing malnutrition.
“The World has made dramatic in reducing child deaths, down from 12 to 7.6 million, but this momentum will stall if we fail to tackle malnutrition,” says Save the Children chief executive Justin Forsynth, citing recent malaria efforts as an example of what concentrated global action can achieve. It can only be hoped that similar efforts towards world hunger will soon follow suit.

Reference: Torjesen, Ingrid. "Rising food prices force parents to cut back on food for their already malnourished children". British Medical Journal. Web. Feb 17 2012.
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