On Tuesday Save the Children published their ground-breaking Food for Thought report, all part of the current IF campaign. A report highlighting the direct linkage between poor and insubstantial diet with literacy and numeracy. Quite simply it makes for shocking reading. Chronically malnourished children are on average 20% less literate than their better nourished peers. Fact. And this is regardless of the quality or quantity of schooling on offer. Children malnourished in their first two years suffer irreversible damage, they grow up smaller and weaker and their brains may not develop fully, it’s known as ‘stunting’. Fact. And obviously the economic effects of both these facts are extremely far-reaching to societies. Findings suggest the global economic impact of malnutrition could be up to £80 billion. And this is only because children are hungry….
As someone with a passionate interest in nutrition and two small children myself this is truly frightening stuff. I can’t personally imagine my children suffering at school or being unable to read or write because they haven’t had satisfactory nourishment to concentrate. To me good nourishment has always been fundamental. To their very being. But then I’m fortunate to live in the developed first world.
On a final note it’s estimated that one in four (yes ONE in FOUR) of the World’s children are stunted due to the abysmal fact of malnutrition. And these children will have their life chances seriously and cruelly dashed because of this. Forever.
World leaders are meeting next week on June 8th in London for a Global Nutrition Summit. Ahead of this year’s G8 where the world COULD provide the necessary funding to transform lives and therefore economies . This really MUST be addressed. Seriously.
If you haven’t already done so I urge you to sign Save the Children’s IF Petition. Please. It’s very little effort and could make a real difference.