Chronic Malnutrition stunts Asia's rising-star economies

APRIL 23, 2019 12:39 JST

MUMBAI/MANILA -- Malti Bhogade's twin daughters died soon after they were born.

Bhogade, a 32-year old farm laborer working 150 km north of India's financial capital Mumbai, delivered her babies prematurely in January. One died almost instantly due to malnutrition. The other died of a heart attack within a month. "It was painful to lose them," she said.

It is a pain far too many families are experiencing in some of Asia's fastest growing economies. From India to the Philippines and Indonesia, youthful societies promise "demographic dividends," but malnutrition is cutting lives short and hindering children's growth. As the world races toward a digital future, these countries are scrambling to prevent their population blessing from becoming a curse -- large numbers of infirm citizens who cannot support themselves.

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Katie Martin