Blog Highlights Connections Among Sanitation, Malnutrition, Height

“On World Toilet Day, [observed Tuesday,] we’d like to take a moment to celebrate the toilet for not only saving lives — by reducing the risk of deadly diarrhea — but also for helping people to grow taller, a key measure of childhood malnutrition,” Victoria Fan, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD), and Rifaiyat Mahbub, a research assistant at the center, write in the CGD “Global Health Policy” blog. They highlight two research papers examining the relationship between sanitation, malnutrition and height. “Toilets, diarrhea, height and weight, and mortality are interrelated, though scientific evidence of the precise direction and mechanism of these causal pathways will not be easy to disentangle,” they state, concluding, “[Toilets] not only save millions of children, but they make them healthier and taller too” (11/18).