Starvation During Childhood May Cause Heart Disease in Later Life

October 18, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. deprived (adj.) [dih-prahyvd] – lacking important things such as food, shelter, education, etc.
Example: Many children are deprived due to poverty.

2. famine (n.) [fam-in] – a severe shortage of food
Example: Famine is usually a result of crop failure or overpopulation.

3. susceptible (adj.) [suh-sep-tuh-buhl] – easily affected (by something)
Additional Question: Are you susceptible to any sickness?

4. dietitian (n.) [dahy-i-tish-uhn] – a specialist in the study of nutrition
Example: It is important to have dietitians in hospitals.

5. detrimental (adj.) [de-truh-men-tl] – causing damage
Example: Smoking is detrimental to our health.

Read the text below.

People deprived of food during childhood are more likely to have heart disease after 50 years, researchers say.

The results come from a study on children who suffered starvation in Netherlands during the World War II. Researchers from Holland followed up Dutch women who were aged 10-17 when famine struck the region towards the end of the war. The famine resulted from a combination of ruined crops, winter, and the war itself. Thousands of people were killed at that time.

Based on the study on children who survived that famine, researchers found that those who had a daily consumption of only 400 to 800 calories during childhood and early adolescence are 27% more susceptible to heart diseases upon aging.

However, according to Victoria Taylor, a senior heart health dietitian for the British Heart Foundation, the mechanism in the body which triggers the development of heart disease is still uncertain.

Nonetheless, even if famine has not been experienced in the UK recently, the results of the study cannot be ignored. The study shows how malnutrition among children and young people may affect their heart condition in later years. This implies a good reason to make sure that children and young people are provided with a healthy diet to prevent the detrimental effects of malnutrition in their future heart health, Taylor suggests.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         Is child malnutrition an issue in your country?
·         How do you think can we prevent malnutrition?

Discussion B

·         What countries do you think suffer from famine?
·         What do you think can people or the government do to address this problem?

October 18, 2011