research institute for compassionate economics

BBC World Service?

Written by Dean Spears on February 15th, 2012

Today I’m entering data with my handy travel-sized ten key (Diane, with any luck, is weighing babies as I write), and have enough brain space left over to listen to the BBC World Service. They just did an extended piece about child malnutrition. Do any readers know how to post a link to one of their radio programs? I’m listening to “The World Today” and it’s about 7:30 am in London.

It wasn’t perfect, and was at one point silly, but I’m glad they did it: it emphasized life-long physical and cognitive consequences of early life malnutrition, and it nicely caputred some of the sounds of a crowded north Delhi market. It talked about food prices, but also talked about things other than food prices, such as things that parents cound, in principle, do differently. If they were to do it again, I would hope that they would not define malnutriton so narrowly as being about insufficient food intake. Scholars used to use the word “malnutrition” in academic papers to refer to what is now usually called “stunting”: being too short for one’s age. These days, we know that much more than just food goes into bad net nutrition, not least disease.