Making a hungerfree world: Food for good health

We all know how it feels when our stomachs rumble from general hunger, but we cannot imagine effects of actual, prolonged hunger, starvation and malnutrition. Quality of health is closely tied to the quality of food and nutrition one receives. Long-term hunger and malnutrition significantly hinder people from reaching their full potential.

“Hidden hunger” is when the body lacks vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential for proper growth, development and health. So while a child may have food in their stomach, they might not be getting enough nutrients from that food.

Children who don’t get the right foods and nutrients at an early age often suffer from poor brain development, delayed motor skills and slow or stunted growth. Their immune system is weakened, making it harder to fight infections and diseases. These can be life-long effects, continuing to hinder their potential even as adults.

According to the FAO, an estimated 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies and hidden hunger. One of the most common micronutrient deficiencies is a lack of Vitamin A, leading to poor eye health and often progressing to blindness.

The right, nutritious food opens up doors to a better quality of life.

At World Vision, we know that food is the critical ingredient to fight all types of hunger and improve nutrition. In 2016, World Vision rehabilitated more than 180,000 acutely malnourished children under the age of five and provided supplementary food to more than 78,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. We enhanced the access to education of nearly 900,000 children through school feedings and other food for education programming.

We help children enjoy better health, have more energy and get sick less often, by educating communities on nutrition and increasing their access to a diversity of nutritious foods.Through programming like the 1000 Day Journey and Positive Deviance/Hearth, parents learn more about the importance of nutrition for children. They gain knowledge, tools and skills to better provide for their children. Through this, communities as a whole are strengthened, building towards a brighter future.

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