A recent study showed that malnutrition causes nearly 45 percent of all deaths in children under 5, giving new urgency for the need to fight child malnutrition. From Catholic News Service, with quotes from CRS staff:
WASHINGTON (CNS) — In 2008, the community dedicated to ending hunger globally was rocked when the prestigious medical journal The Lancet published its first series on maternal and childhood nutrition, showing that more than a third of child deaths and 11 percent of the rate of disease worldwide was the result of mothers and children being malnourished.
“It gave the community its marching orders,” said Yesenia Garcia of 1,000 Days.
From the information gathered by the journal emerged an image of the vital importance and lasting impact good nutrition has on a child’s earliest development.
Rather than trying to reach young, hungry children, “it demonstrated that it’s more effective to prevent stunting” — underdevelopment in malnourished children — “before age 2, or it’s irreversible,” said Mary Hennigan, senior technical adviser in nutrition for Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency.