General News

David Beckham calls for action over child growth problems

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Oct 15, 2012 | 7:15am EDT

The soccer superstar jetted to the impoverished nation as part of his work as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF and was shocked to discover the number of tots whose development is restricted due to their poor diet in the early months of their lives.

He has met with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in a bid to convince him to focus on the "silent emergency" which affects 170 million children in the world's poorest countries.

In an article for CNN.com, Beckham writes, "Stunting is what happens when a child doesn't get the right nutrients in their first 1,000 days of life. The damage to a child's brain and body is permanent. They will never learn as much as they could if they had received the right food from the start - it can mean up to three years loss of schooling.

"As I learned in Sierra Leone, it is impossible to look into the eyes of a hungry child and not be moved. As a father of four, I cannot sit on the sidelines when millions of children are suffering needlessly, especially when we know simple and inexpensive solutions can stop stunting and help save and change children's lives."

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