The stomach is a round character in a life story of a child: feed it and it’s a milling machine, deny it and it runs rogue, starve it and it kills.
Nothing in the stomach is a major child killer: its worldwide toll reaches 3.5 million deaths a year. Undernourished children have deficiencies in key proteins, vitamins and minerals, as caused by a lack of food, or poor quality food, starts in the womb, experts say, and yet a quarter of the deaths could be prevented with simple, low-cost changes like the promotion of breastfeeding and vitamin A supplements.. The deaths are mostly inflicted indirectly by stunting and poor resistance to diseases and the lack of vitamin A and zinc during the mother’s pregnancy and the child’s first two years of life.
The fatalities occur mostly where 80 percent of the world’s undernourished children live, in 20 countries mainly located in tropical Africa and South Asia including Myanmar, North Korea and Indonesia. One of the five studies published by the British journal The Lancet found a direct link between maternal and early childhood undernutrition and adult health.
The worse the nutrition the likelier the child would be shorter in adult height, do poorly at school, end up among the low paid and have offspring with low birth weight. According to the paper authored-led by Cesar Victoria of Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, damage suffered in early life leads to permanent impairment, and might also affect future generations. Undernutrition differs from malnutrition which is an imbalance in diet that causes deficiencies. Undernutrition is a deficiency caused by lack of food.
Prevention of undernutriton makes child’s life story different by keeping his stomach as a flat character- full and healthy and would surely bring education and economic benefits, not death.