Harnessing the Power of the Private Sector to Fight a Growing ‘Double Burden’
Thursday, April 7, 2016
The most recent statistics on child malnutrition are bleak: Nearly half of the deaths of children under the age of 5 in Africa and Asia can be attributed to this preventable condition, according to UNICEF. That translates to approximately 3 million unnecessary deaths each year.
Of those who do survive, malnutrition cuts to the core of the child’s development, permanently impacting both their cognitive and physical capabilities later in life. This year’s World Health Day theme is diabetes. Although at first glance, it may seem that malnutrition, obesity and diabetes have little in common, in many cases they are linked.
Ensuring that the fetus, and then the child, receive adequate nutrition for the first 1,000 days, starting from conception, is proven to be a particularly critical window: Nutritional deficiencies during this time put children at risk for not only stunting, but also obesity and diabetes later in life, compared to children who received adequate nutrition.
It’s no surprise then that developing countries are increasingly struggling to fight a growing “double burden,” both of stunting and undernourishment on one hand, and obesity and diabetes on the other.
- Health Care