Ernährung und Wachstum

KIGALI – Es gibt kein größeres Hindernis für die langfristige wirtschaftliche Entwicklung eines Landes als die Unterernährung von Kindern. Wenn ein Körper im Wachstum nicht genügend lebenswichtige Vitamine und Nährstoffe erhält, hat das schädliche Auswirkungen bis weit ins Erwachsenenalter.

In Ländern mit niedrigen Einkommen besteht die Ernährung hauptsächlich aus Stärken, wie Reis, und Hülsenfrüchten, wie Erbsen, die sehr wenig Eiweiß enthalten. So bekommt selbst ein Kind mit einem vollen Bauch nicht unbedingt die richtige Menge an nahrhafter Kost und Vitaminen, die für eine gesunde körperliche Entwicklung erforderlich ist.

Das wirkt sich äußerst negativ aus. Unterernährte Kinder sind anfälliger für Krankheiten. Laut UNICEF sterben stark unterernährte Kinder 9,5-mal so oft an Durchfall und 6,4-mal so oft an Lungenentzündung wie normal ernährte Kinder. Einer von drei vermeidbaren Todesfällen bei kleinen Kindern weltweit – bis zu 2,5 Millionen jährlich – ist auf unzureichende Nahrungszufuhr zurückzuführen.

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