Research Proposal: Long Term Impact of Child Malnutrition on Adulthood

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Long term impact of child malnutrition on adulthood
Introduction This is a proposal to undertake a study of the long-term impact of child malnutrition on adulthood. Poor nutrition and health, whether in their mildest or severest forms, result in a reduction in overall well-being and quality of life. The most vulnerable to malnutrition are children. At such an early stage, children’s immune systems are still developing and are not fully able to fight disease and infection. The short-term effects of child malnutrition are well documented in medical as well as economic literature. Majority of households in developing countries are characterised by poor health environments, where it is easy for children and adults to fall prey to infectious
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Poor health results in absenteeism, whether from school or work, leading to reduced incomes and quality of lives, thwarting the growth potential of the country and by extension, the development potential of the entire continent.

Review of Literature Malnutrition is a large contributor to child mortality, especially in developing countries. Literature that studies this relationship finds that there is a certain synergy between malnutrition and morbidity. Pelletier et al (1993) provide a mathematic model to test this synergy between child malnutrition and morbidity. They apply this model to published data of six studies that confirm the relationship between child malnutrition and morbidity for populations from Tanzania, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and India. Their results find that 45 to 80 per cent of deaths among children under the age of five are due to some form of malnutrition. It is generally accepted that children who are malnourished are at greater risk for poor physical and mental development, inferior school performance and reduced adult size and capacity for work in addition to morbidity and mortality. Malnutrition compromises the immune system and aggravates the effects of infection and hence, malnourished children are more likely to fall prey to diarrhoea and pneumonia (Gragnolati et al, 1995). It is also found that child malnutrition leads to delayed motor development,

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