The Economist Writes About REAP's Nutrition Project


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The Economist

"Growth has helped millions to avoid malnutrition but it still threatens to hold back a generation of rural Chinese."

A recent article in The Economist about malnutrition in rural China cites REAP's research on anemia.

“The propaganda message, scrawled in white paint on the side of a wood-frame house, could hardly be more blunt: ‘Cure stupidity, cure poverty’. The cure for both, in one of China’s poorest counties, seems to be a daily nutritional supplement for children. At a pre-school centre in Songjia, as in more than 600 other poor villages across China, children aged three to six gather to get the stuff with their lunch. If China is to narrow its urban-rural divide, thousands more villages will need to do this much, or more....

"'Babies are probably 50% malnourished' in poor rural areas, says Scott Rozelle, co-director of the Rural Education Action Programme (REAP), a research outfit at Stanford University which has done extensive tests on anaemia in rural China. 'But almost no mums are malnourished.' Mr Rozelle says that in one of his surveys rural mothers showed a better understanding of how to feed pigs than babies: 71% said pigs need micronutrients, whereas only 20% said babies need them."

Read more here.