The president of the World Bank recently mentioned the issue of stunting in children.
Jim Yong Kim, the former head of the Bank warned that stunting is the most influential reason for poverty. According to him, malnutrition is both the cause and effect of inequality. Children not grown with sufficient nutrition are likely to develop cognitive impairment. It makes them difficult to understand various things for better life, leading to the reproduction of poor offspring.
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It is estimated that there is a total of 162 million children under five y. o. are suffering from malnutrition. The proportion of stunting is desperately high in some countries. For example, more than one-third of Indian and nearly a half of Pakistani children are stunted.
These statistics are surprising. But, also in Japan, economic inequality become spreading recently. Not a few people are starving in Japan, which was hardly imagined in a couple of decades ago.
However, the definition of stunting should be a little cautiously interpreted. Children who are underweighted compared to the average can be diagnosed as stunting. But the standard weight and height are changing according to the concurrent environment. People in Japan a century ago were much smaller than those at present. But it is doubtful we should identify them as stunting.
Nonetheless, poverty and malnutrition are big problems in the world. There are some solutions we have to try. Economic support, optimized food delivery, improved the quality of education, and increased mutual understanding among cultures, are necessary. We should be aware of the current situation.