Source: International Food Policy Research Institute
20 January 2010 | EN
Breastfeeding is one way of improving early childhood nutrition
This policy brief, published by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), outlines options for improving child nutrition, health and survival in developing countries.
The health impacts of early childhood undernutrition — including stunting, wasting, anaemia, blindness and infectious disease — are well documented.
Less well known are the high economic costs. Undernutrition can delay brain development, impair academic performance and reduce productivity in later life. Childhood undernutrition in Zimbabwe has been found to reduce lifetime earnings by 12 per cent, for example.
Nutritional programmes traditionally focus on identifying undernourished children at school and then directing interventions at them. But evidence suggests that such action may be too late — the consequences of undernutrition between birth and the age of two are irreversible.
Intervening before the age of two can improve long-term schooling and productivity. A 40-year study in Guatemala has revealed that giving nutrient supplements to children from birth to three years of age improves reading comprehension as adults and increases men's average wages by almost half.
Developing countries that implement targeted effective nutrition interventions could reduce undernutrition-related deaths and disease by 25 per cent in the short term and lead to large payoffs, say the authors. Such interventions include improving mothers' nutrition during pregnancy, encouraging breastfeeding, providing vitamin A and zinc supplementation, salt iodization and oral rehydration salts, and rolling out childhood immunisation programmes.
But to reduce undernutrition in the long term, countries must also address its underlying causes, including poverty, food insecurity, low education, gender inequality, and poor healthcare, sanitation and hygiene. Tackling these can be achieved through agricultural interventions and programmes where participants receive money to spend on food if families access healthcare or education.
This policy brief was written by Marie Ruel — director of — and John Hoddinott — senior research fellow of — the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, United States.
A K Puri ( India )
17 October 2011
Citrus fruit and peels have a lot of nutrition.The citrus peels that I have experience of are grapefruit, malta oranges the Indian mosami, chinese oranges. The eels can be processed into tasty fruit like marmalades,biscuits etc. The peels hwve to be crushed and mixed with whole wheat or flour,sweetner and baked. Peels have much vital nutrition thet they make any child beautiful, intelligent strong and healthy. A study can be done to analyse what all citrus peels have. For instance the white peel is calcium.The peels also have malic acid. If a full study is done stsndards of nutrition will have to be altered. Citrus peels also reverse organic degeneration and vastly incrase life span.
Afaq ( Pakistan )
8 November 2011
There must have been guidelines for such societies. I would like to have links to them. Poverty is such a monster and the sad part is it is increasing in Pakistan due to whatever reasons you can ascribe to. Dependence on local harvests like lentils as source of proteins is well established but what about the management of problems which arise from the side effects of poverty; like diseases caused by poor hygiene and sanitation. Recently Dengue epidemic has started to claim lives here. And of course there is Tuberculosis and other water and air borne diseases which cause huge loss of life and morbidity.
DeniseA ( The Cambodia Charitable trust | New Zealand )
23 August 2012
At the Cambodia Charitable trust, we see the lack of food impacting on children's ability to learn at primary school in Cambodia, but it impacts on children even before they reach school age. It also reduces the mother's health before she carries and delivers a baby. We need to improve the nutrition of the whole family. We are focusing on each family's ability to produce food at home. We would like to introduce life skills classes at school, including horticulture classes, and send the children home with seeds and plants. We also want to train some school leavers in agricultural and horticultural skills so as they can help their communities increase food production and understand nutrition. It is a slow process but a sustainable one.
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