Many of us have already heard that 1/3 of the whole planet suffers from malnutrition and that it is the cause (direct or indirect) of half of children deaths in developing countries. But this is not only a problem of developing world; in the Unites States 1 in 5 children are also at risk of hunger. (Generations United)
From a blog called “The 40-hour famine” we have learned about a more scientific approach to the problem of hunger. It showed us, which organs actually suffer from malnutrition.
So, hunger affects the:
Mind – “Childhood malnutrition can cause reduced intelligence, anxiety, psychiatric issues and cognitive impairment in the long term.”
Heart – “Hunger causes a decrease in heart rate and oxygen levels, making it that much more difficult to perform any kind of physical activity, let alone labor. To function properly, the heart needs sufficient calcium, iron, protein and Vitamin B.”
Organs – “Intestinal tract, kidneys and livers, all need fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to operate healthily.
Joints and Muscles – ”It doesn’t matter how often a person exercises, if the person isn’t getting sufficient protein, her or his muscles will weaken and shrink.”
Bones – “Without sufficient calcium, a young person’s growth will be stunted for life, possibly forcing her or him to function with fragile bones that easily break as an adult.”
Immune system – “A number of diseases that are rare here but rampant in the developing world are directly caused by deficiencies in basic vitamins, minerals and macronutrients. And, outrageously enough, most can be treated with the mere introduction of those deficient vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients. No pharmaceutical research, no vaccination, no drug regimen necessary. In most cases, just the right food in the right amount.”
While writing this text I got to understand why food is so important. Probably it is because I was never really hungry and I take food as pleasure for most of the time. But I was definitely lucky to have parents that fed me well. So here is a message to all of you parents or “gonnabe” parents. Remember to feed your kids well. Well doesn’t mean a lot. Well means: diverse, fresh, colorful, which all leads to healthy. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!!
posted by Piotr Wielezynski