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Improving Nutrition Improves the Economy

improving nutrition
The long-term benefits of improving nutrition around the world are more than just a humanitarian accomplishment. Improving the human condition is undoubtedly vital; economists, investors, governments and researchers all over the world are taking a look at nutrition from another angle with a focus on how minimizing poor nutrition works to maximize the growth potential of the global economy.

Research supports the fact that improving nutrition is a fundamental stepping stone for the world to reach global health and development goals.

Adrianna Localbo, Campaign Director of the 1,000 days campaign, explained the urgency of looking at nutrition with a comprehensive perspective. The 1,000 days campaign outlines the need for proper nutrition during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.

In an interview with Devex Impact, Localbo emphasized that the proper nourishment in that critical time period is necessary for achieving substantial rises in the way of education and economic productivity in developing countries.

Localbo stated that when a child is well-nourished in those critical early stages, they are more likely to go farther in school, have a higher IQ, and possess a greater earning potential.

Good nutrition is critical to boost a child’s immune systems to prevent the devastating effects of diseases like malaria and tuberculosis. A well-nursed child is 13 percent more likely to be in the correct grade of school. On a larger scale, proper nutrition can help a country’s GEP improve by up to 11 percent.

Recently the private sector has become increasingly involved in supporting the fight for improved nutrition. Localbo stated that ninety businesses worldwide have made financial pledges to help reduce poor nutrition.

She noted that the private sector recognizes that the support is an investment to push for the creation of a sustainable, resilient population. The population is, after all, what makes not only the workforce but also the base of consumers.

At the hunger summit in 1996, countries pledged to work to halve hunger by 2015. Heads of states came to an agreement that the cost of hunger greatly hurts the economic growth of countries.

Investing in nutrition is an investment in human and social capital. According to researchers, it is the future of economies.

– Caroline Logan

Sources: FAO, Devex
Photo: Quest Garden