Hidden Hunger and How to Fix It

Great new column from Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, talking about malnutrition and some cheap and simple steps for alleviating it by enriching basic food products with additional nutrients.

The World Bank has estimated that United Nations goals for overcoming global poverty have been set back seven years by the global crisis. It calculates that increased malnutrition last year may have caused an additional 44 million children to suffer permanent physical or mental impairment.

Yet one of the great Western misconceptions is that severe malnutrition is simply about not getting enough to eat. Often it’s about not getting the right micronutrients — iron, zinc, vitamin A, iodine — and one of the most cost-effective ways outsiders can combat poverty is to fight this “hidden hunger.”

via Op-Ed Columnist – The Hidden Hunger – NYTimes.com

This is fascinating stuff — it’s astonishing that something so simple as a vitamin here, a mineral there, could have such a huge impact on so many people.  And if it’s so easy to deal with…why haven’t we dealt with it?  Let’s hope this article helps get the word out to people in the best positions to do something.

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~ by h.e.g. on May 24, 2009.

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