Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Child malnutrition caused by more than lack of food

Malnourished child

Image via Wikipedia

From the 1 May 2011 Science News Daily article

ScienceDaily (May 1, 2011) — Giving poor families land on which to grow crops has been shown to improve child nutrition. New research also shows that giving families non-agricultural land and better housing also is beneficial for children’s growth and nutrition…

…”Malnutrition is a major problem for the health of children under 5 years of age in rural Mayan Guatemalan villages,” said Dr. Agulnik, lead author of the study and a resident at Children’s Hospital Boston. “This study demonstrates that in areas where land scarcity is a major problem, land distributions supporting improved housing and community organization can improve child nutrition without changing a family’s income. It also suggests that in our population, living conditions, sanitation, crowding and community organization play a major role in causing child malnutrition.”

The study underscores the fact that childhood malnutrition is not only about food, said study co-author Paul Wise, MD, MPH, FAAP, who created a program at Stanford University in California called Children in Crisis to improve health care to children living in politically unstable regions. “While this study documents the terrible toll of poverty on child health, it also emphasizes the interaction between the child, infections, community life and the exercise of political power.”

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by American Academy of Pediatrics, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

May 6, 2011 - Posted by | Public Health | , , , ,

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