Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Iraq war stunts children’s growth, researchers find

Date:
March 29, 2010
Source:
University of Royal Holloway London
Summary:
A study carried out by Royal Holloway, University of London has discovered Iraqi children born in areas affected by high levels of violence are shorter in height than children born in less violent areas.

Iraqi children born in areas affected by high levels of violence are shorter in height than children born in less violent areas, according to a study at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The level of violence has varied across the provinces and districts, with the south and centre of Iraq being most affected and it is in these areas that estimates show children are on average 0.8cm shorter than their peers growing up elsewhere in the country.

The research, which uses data from three independent surveys conducted before and after 2003 by the central statistics office of Iraq, exploits the different intensities of the conflict across areas and the age of exposure to the war among children in order to estimate the effect of the war on their health.

The study shows that the wave of violence and turmoil in Iraq has lead to the deterioration of linear growth of young children though not necessarily affecting weight. This provides evidence that the problem is not the quantity but the quality of food and shows that stunting is a serious problem among children in Iraq. It highlights that the negative growth impact is more pronounced during the first year of life, but suggests that it might have started in the uterus via the deterioration of the health of the mother.

"At first sight, it is easier to see if a child is malnourished by looking at his or her weight, which is often synonymous with hunger. Low height however, which relates more to protein intake, is not as easy to identify just by looking at a child," says Gabriela Guerrero-Serdαn from the Department of Economics at Royal Holloway.

"Unlike weight, which can be gained at any period of life by eating more food, we cannot necessarily grow more in height after our period of growth has passed. Extensive research has shown if children do not reach their potential growth and are stunted after their second birthday, they are less likely to catch up later. Early life development and growth are connected and important because children who are well nourished are more likely to be healthy, productive and able to learn in the future," she added.

Evidence from the study is being presented at this year's Royal Economic Society annual conference at the University of Sussex on March 29 -- 31 and highlights the need for more research into links between psychological and physiological aspects of health of pregnant women in conflict-affected countries.

Gabriela said: "The study shows that the conflict and violence in Iraq has had considerable costs, one of them being the deterioration of the health of children, which affects human capital accumulation and subsequently the country's future. Since malnutrition reflects the environment in which a child lives there is not a single solution, but access to electricity, safe water and sanitation are essential. In addition, it would be important to see if the current food distribution program in Iraq is providing the necessary quantity and quality of food for young children and pregnant women."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Royal Holloway London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Royal Holloway London. "Iraq war stunts children’s growth, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329082121.htm>.
University of Royal Holloway London. (2010, March 29). Iraq war stunts children’s growth, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329082121.htm
University of Royal Holloway London. "Iraq war stunts children’s growth, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100329082121.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins