Childhood malnutrition can lead to cognitive impairment in elderly
Published: July 05, 2010
www.sciencedaily.com has reported that malnutrition in the early years of life leads to malfunctioning of the brain in adulthood. The study has been conducted by Michigan State University on over 15000 elderly people in China. The study has brought out the fact that if a child fights hunger in his early years, it will increase his chances of cognitive well-being in the later years of his life. The study has been originally published by the Social Science and Medicine Journal. Zhenmei Zhang who is the assistant professor of sociology was the one leading the project and the research and he says that 178 million children under 5 years of age are short in stature or stunted due to hunger or infection.
It is expensive for families to take care of the people who have diseases like dementia and this is why the policy makers need to give more stress on investing on children of the nation to get the long-term benefits. According to www.physorg.com the subjects in the survey had to give a screening test for cognitive impairment and they were asked questions about their hunger in childhood. The study revealed that women had 35% more risk of cognitive impairment if hey suffered from childhood hunger. The rate was 29% for the men. Professor Zhang said. “Many of China’s surviving older individuals suffered from severe hunger and devastating wars in their childhood. Before 1949, for example, life expectancy in China was 35 years.”