Save the Children: Poor diet kills 2.6 million infants a year
Malnutrition is the root cause of the deaths of 2.6 million children each year, and the bodies and brains of 450 million more will fail to develop properly due to inadequate diet over the next 15 years unless immediate action is taken, according to a survey published on Wednesday by a leading international charity.
The survey of developing countries, A Life Free from Hunger, produced by Save the Children, estimates one in four children are already stunted because of malnutrition.
In some developing countries the figure is one in three. In India 48% of children are stunted. And in high population-growth Nigeria and Tanzania, the problem is escalating rapidly, it says.
Soaring food prices are identified as an aggravating factor. But these damaging trends can be halted and reversed using tried and tested solutions if political will exists and public awareness is raised, the report's authors say.
They urge David Cameron to use the 2012 Olympics, when dozens of heads of state will be in London, to host a "world hunger summit" and launch an international campaign to aid malnutrition victims. Campaigners also want the issue addressed at the G8 summit in Chicago in May.
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