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Gains In Child Health, Education Threatened By Increase In Malnutrition, Save The Children Report Says

“More children survived past their fifth birthday and attended school at the end of the 2000s than a decade before, but a rise in acute malnutrition could undermine these unprecedented gains,” according to a report released Thursday by Save the Children, AlertNet reports. Between 2005 and 2010, “1.5 million more children suffered from wasting or acute weight loss … than in the first half of the 2000s,” the news agency reports, adding, “This happened as high, volatile food prices and increasingly extreme weather made food less affordable for many poor families, tipping some into crisis” (Nguyen, 7/19). According to the report, Japan is the best place for children, and Somalia “is ranked last among the nations considered following a food crisis last year which killed tens of thousands of children,” the Independent notes. “According to Save The Children, the overall proportion of acutely malnourished children grew by 1.2 percent during the previous decade,” the newspaper writes (Diaz, 7/19).

“As it launches its annual child development index, Save the Children is calling on the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to spearhead a drive against malnutrition at the hunger summit he has pledged to call during the Olympic Games in London and through into the U.K.’s G8 presidency in 2013,” the Guardian writes. The summit “is expected to involve more than a hundred heads of state who will be in London for the Olympics,” the newspaper notes. Brendan Cox, director of policy at Save the Children, said, “We expect it to focus down quite strongly on nutrition, given where we are — and we may even be going backwards on some of this stuff — and given the historical neglect of it. We hope it will set a forward trajectory for what David Cameron will do during his G8 presidency in 2013,” according to the Guardian (Boseley, 7/19).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.