‘Hidden hunger’ affects economic development
- By: Irina Haivas
Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals impair the economic development of developing nations and damage the health of a third of the world's people. A new report from Unicef and the Micronutrient Initiative, says that about 2 billion people live below their mental and physical potential.
“These deficiency diseases are very inadequately recognised by the medical profession and in fact have been known as ‘hidden hunger,’” says Ian Darnton-Hill, senior adviser in the Micronutrients Nutrition Section at Unicef. “The impact of correcting micronutrient malnutrition on the intellectual and physical development of the next generation, the economic productivity, the positive impact on education will all help lead to increased economic security of populations. If this is not addressed, criminality, wars, and terrorism are often the only possibility seen by those who see no other way of getting out of poverty.”
The report found that iron deficiency reduces the IQ and work productivity,