The Effects Of Malnutrition On Educational Disparities

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The Impact of Malnutrition on Educational Disparities in Africa By: Merette Khalil and Blessing Kuebee, African Students Association At the start of the millennium, various United Nations (UN) partners came together to tackle some of the world’s deadliest and most pressing social and economic problems, and in doing so, established the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In the past 15 years, the MDGs have been evaluated and re-evaluated. This year the UN has declared a new set of 17 goals for the next 15 years called the Sustainable Development Goals. The first issue on both agendas is the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, a problem that is specifically significant for the entire continent of Africa. Clarifying a few terms based on the World Food Program’s definition is essential to understanding the scope of the problem. Hunger is “not having enough to eat to meet energy requirements.” It can lead to malnutrition, which is a condition when one’s diet “does not provide adequate nutrients for growth and maintenance or when a person is not able to adequately utilize the food consumed due to illness.” Undernutrition, being nutrient deficient, being underweight and even being overweight are all complications that result from hunger. Undernourishment is when “a person is not able to acquire enough food to meet the daily minimum dietary energy requirements, over a period of one year.” Wasting is “rapid weight loss or a failure to gain weight and is strongly related
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