Sunday, February 22, 2009

Food for Thought

According to the Lancet nutrition series (January 2008), 178 million children under 5 suffer from nutritional deficiencies - 55 million acute and 19.3 million severely acute (wasting).
Unlike many diseases, malnutrition has a cure - a balanced diet, regular consumption of fortified foods, supplements when local foods don't have the nutrients needed, and animal-based products like milk, fish, eggs and cheese.
One solution is to increase spending on nutrition. According to the Lancet nutrition series, $300 million a year is spent on nutrition while $6 billion is spent on HIV/AIDS.
"Nutrition can only be sustainable if people ultimately pay for it," said Dr. Alfred Sommer, dean emeritus of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
What he means is for people to pay in pounds and pence, dollars and cents. No matter how well meaning those experts and NGOs are, they are bound by the confines of the capitalist system and the most obvious solution of actually providing such nutrition freely is simply beyond their ken. ajohnstone

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