Sunday, July 04, 2010

"1 in 4 Palestinian children goes without breakfast"

The Lancet is about to publish another study of how things are really, really, really bad in the Palestinian Arab territories.

They find out the shocking truth that 26%  of Palestinian Arab children and adolescents did not eat breakfast - which, they helpfully note, is the "main indicator of healthy eating habits." Also,6% of 1883 children who were assessed were stunted, less than 1% had wasting, 2% were underweight, and 11% were anemic.

Commenter Folderol notes that these numbers are not too far off from Western adolescents and children:

14 percent of lower income children in the US did not eat breakfast and 16% in higher income children
prevalence of IDA in Canadian children is between 3.5% and 10.5% 
6 percent are underweight (BMI less than 18.5). 

The reason that PalArab kids skip breakfast? Well, either they wake up late (preteens) or they don't have the appetite (adolescents.)

 Not only that, but the Lancet survey also shows that 15% of Palestinian Arab children are overweight or obese!

The Lancet now has an entire section of their website dedicated to Palestinian Arab health issues, with no fewer that 16 articles about this issue. Their other "themes" are about things like tuberculosis, diabetes and malaria, but even those sections do not have as many articles as the "Health in the occupied Palestinian territory" section.

The full article is not yet online at the Lancet website, and from the abstract it does not appear that they are specifically blaming Israel for these issues. Nonetheless, the amount of coverage they are spending on health in the territories is way out of proportion with their importance on the world health scene, and there can only be one reason why the Lancet feels that these issues are so vital to their readers.