Children’s authors unite to fight scourge of malnutrition
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Tuesday 28 May 2013
Children’s authors are launching a campaign today to persuade governments to step up aid to combat malnutrition which blights the life chances of millions of children.
The move follows a report by the Save the Children charity which shows the lack of a nutritious diet can severely harm a child’s ability to read and write and answer basic maths questions correctly.
The authors, including Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond, Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials), Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo) and author and comedian David Walliams, will lobby heads of government of the G8 countries to give priority to providing extra support to combat malnutrition. They are meeting in London on 8 June for a special summit on nutrition hosted by David Cameron.
Save the Children’s report, based on research in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam, suggests that, by the age of eight, malnourished children are 19 per cent more likely to make a mistake reading a simple sentence like “I like dogs” or “the sun is hot” than children whose growth is not stunted. It also focuses on the economic consequences of malnutrition, estimating that the global impact could be up to $125bn (£80bn) a year. Brendan Cox, of Save the Children, said: “I think we were quite surprised by the scale of the impact malnutrition can have.”
The report concludes that stunted growth through malnutrition can have a significant impact on cognitive development. It adds: “Being less malnourished was associated with higher school aspiration, self-efficacy and self-esteem. Children who were stunted at age five scored on average 7 per cent worse on a maths test three years later.”
Justin Forsyth, the chief executive of Save the Children, said: “These findings confirm … that poor nutrition is capable of seriously damaging a child’s life chances before he or she even sets foot in a classroom.”
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
£40000 - £48000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Engineer - Windo...
£25 - 32,500K (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Produ...
£16000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning independent ...
£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...