U.N. Finds One-Third of All Children Under 5 Are Undernourished or Overweight

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UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. children’s agency says one-third of children worldwide under age 5 — about 200 million youngsters — are either undernourished or overweight, undermining their full potential to grow and develop.

UNICEF also says almost two-thirds of children aged 6 months to 2 years are not fed food that supports their rapidly growing bodies and brains.

In its annual report released Tuesday, UNICEF warns that poor eating and feeding practices start from the earliest days of a child’s life. As children grow older, UNICEF says, “their exposure to unhealthy food becomes alarming.”

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore says that “despite all the technological advances of the last few decades, we have lost sight of this most basic fact: If children eat poorly, they live poorly.”