Malnutrition: A Cycle of Poverty & Economic Stagnation

Apr 02, 2015


Photo Credit: Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Malnutrition isn't only a world issue that affects millions of people every day—including claiming the lives of 3.5 million children each year (WFP, 2014). It's a problem that stunts not only a person’s physical growth, but their mental potential, too. In countries where large percentages of the population are malnourished, the full potential of an entire population cannot be reached.

“Malnourished children underperform in school, limiting their future job opportunities. Malnourished adults are less able to work, contribute to local economies, and provide care for their families. Malnourished mothers are more likely to have underweight children, who will in turn have a higher risk of physical and cognitive impairment. This perpetuates a cycle of poverty and economic stagnation,” according to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nation publication, Understanding the True Cost of Malnutrition.

The World Soy Foundation (WSF) knows the power of soy can be a part of the solution to malnutrition, and we are dedicated to reducing malnutrition using the power of soy. To read more about the power of soy, visit our Publications page.

The WSF has seen the impact soy can have on improving young students’ abilities in the classroom.

A teacher in a WSF-supported school, which has a SoyCow in Guatemala, said she’s seen significant improvements.

“Since our girls started drinking the soymilk, we began to notice small changes not only in the color or the texture of their skin, but also in the classrooms,” she said.  “The teachers report that these girls are able to maintain knowledge better and have more energy in the classroom to engage in different activities.”

The cost of malnutrition is high, but investing in solutions can improve nutritional outcomes for the future (SOFA, 2013) and improve the economic outlook of not only developing countries, but the entire global economy.

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