Iron Deficiency Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Iron Deficiency

In our high technological and global economy, we Americans think of malnutrition as a thing of the past. It is almost unheard of for our children to go hungry with a McDonald's on every corner. But that is only in our world. This report is a review of the 2003 report written by Karen Olness in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics called "Effects On Brain Development Leading To Cognitive Impairment: A Worldwide Epidemic." In keeping with the theme of nutrition and iron deficiency, this story points out that the world food shortages and other epidemic situations in developing nations has a direct bearing on the brains of children. For the poor nations of the world things like malnutrition, genetic disease, infectious diseases like meningitis, parasites, and cerebral malaria, in utero drug and alcohol exposure, newborn asphyxia, low birth weight, head injuries, and endocrine disorders to name a few are just a normal day in the life of Plot

The article "Effects On Brain Development Leading To Cognitive Impairment: A Worldwide Epidemic" is both a technical overview of some possible causes of mental and other cognitive impairments in children in developing countries and a cry for help. "The numbers of those already impaired and being impaired each day are large and have frightening educational, economic, and political implications for the world. Those of us who are specialists in child behavior and development and who are fortunate to live in the Western world are the most logical group to take this message to decision makers, child-advocacy groups, educators, and families both domestically and in developing areas of the world." (Olness, 2003)

In a very straight forward approach, Karen Olness is asking the United Nations to take this problem serious and to form a world wide watch program to help get accurate estimates of the extent of this problem. This is a problem that in the long-term will affect us all. "The impact of hundreds of millions of world citizens with cognitive impairment will affect all countries during this century." (Olness, 2003)

Unfortunately, according to the author, cognitive limitations in children appear to be on the rise. Because the majority of these cases are in underdeveloped poor nations, medical help or professional expertise is limited or totally nonexistent. The fact that many of the associated causes of these cognitive concerns stem from malnutrition makes this even a bigger concern as famine continues to spread as the rich get richer and the poor die.

As pointed out in the article, iron deficiency is a problem that newborns suffer for the entire first year of life…

Sources Used in Document:

The author points out that iron deficiency has been attributed to behavior problems in children who suffered in infancy. These children are seen as problematic. They also have very high counts of anxiety or depression, social problems, and other attention issues. With these statistics, the author seems to be pointing out how crucial it is to help feed the mothers and children in third world nations. "More than 30% of pregnant women in developing countries have iron-deficiency anemia, and iron deficiency without anemia is even more widespread. If the central nervous system effects of iron deficiency in the developing infant lay the ground for later learning problems, there is a large population of children at risk." (Olness, 2003)

My thoughts & Do I agree/disagree

I feel, like the author, that these cognitive brain issues are preventable. Iron deficiency for example seems like a very simple problem to fix. Give these pregnant mothers and infants iron supplements. But that is easier said then done. The problem is -- how do we take the last Miss America up on her speech where she said that she would attempt to solve world hunger? Fine, when is she or any of us going to start? "It is reported that 38.5% of children in developing countries are underweight, and that 42% are stunted. The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) reports that 35% to 40% of children suffer from moderate malnutrition and that 10% of all children suffer a period of severe malnutrition during the crucial first 2 years of life." (Olness, 2003) I know I ate today and did not think once of a baby in Uganda not getting his share of the crop. I wonder if the last Miss America was more in line with

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