Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

Child Nutrition

August 14, 2008

In July, delegates from 14 countries met in the U.S. as part of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation annual meeting. The purpose of the forum was  to discuss school feeding programs and to help leaders in developing countries expand or begin nutrition programs in schools. The Global Child Nutrition Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping children around the world receive adequate nutrition.

This year the foundation included the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and The United Nations Food Programme. Guatemala participated in this year’s forum so hopefully the government will initiate more school feeding programs following the forum. Many of the nutrition programs in Guatemalan schools are generally supported and initiated by NGO’s working in the country, but there are hundreds of schools needing assistance with a feeding program. It is estimated that approximately 50-70% of the children in the rural western highlands are suffering from chronic malnutrition.

It is so difficult for children to learn when they do not have adequate nutrition and a nutritious breakfast has proven results in helping children thrive in their adult years.

Childhood Nutrition Pays Off

July 29, 2008

A study done years ago – beginning in 1969 and lasting for 8 years has recently proved that good nutrition in early childhood pays dividends in adulthood. This 8 year study showed that a nutritious, sweetened porridge, rich in protein given to hundreds of people, young and old, in 4 northeast Guatemalan villages was extremely beneficial while others in the

study received only a sweetened beverage with no nutrients and showed no benefits.

Recently, over 3 decades later, testing was done on the children that were 2-3 years of age in 1969 that received the protein nutritious porridge. Significant benefits included:

  • when tested as adults they scored higher as if they had attended an additional year of school
  • Girls also had better results and averaged as if they had an extra year of schooling.
  • Boys that received the protein drink averaged 46% more in hourly earning as adults.
  • The ones eating the protein rich porridge averaged almost an inch more in height

In the short term differences weren’t as noticeable but as adults it has been shown that early childhood nutrition pays big dividends later in life. To learn more you can read the full article online at: