Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Save the Children event*

Trouble with blogging and websites is that the busier you are, the less time you get to blog or post website items and therefore the less busy people think you are... Or maybe no-one notices?

Today was a really interesting, mixed day. Got in fairly early for some time in the office, but then chaired an event with Save the Children; they're launching a report tomorrow, which is embargoed till 00.01 so can't say much about it unless I type this post very, very slowly...

Basically it looks at child deprivation across 137 countries, as measured according to three factors: enrolments in primary education, child mortality (deaths before the age of 5), and nutrition. Britain comes out pretty well, in the top ten. Cuba comes out better than the USA! (Both quite a bit further down).

Interesting discussion about what statistics show, and how careful you have to be in interpreting them - e.g. they've given equal weighting to each of the three categories, but if a country manages to bring down its child mortality rate, it could actually see an increase in its malnutrition rating, as fewer children have so little food they starve to death but they then move into the 'not enough to eat' category.

Nutrition is measured according to whether a child is underweight, which in itself raises interesting questions: is being malnourished synonymous with being underweight? I wouldn't have thought so. Also discovered that 'underweight' is judged based on the median of American children. It was suggested that it might be better to pick a country where kids are maybe a little healthier? (I'm now trying to work out what it means for the USA's scores on nutrition if US kids are used as the benchmark. But I guess I can just leave that to someone else to answer... Try looking up median on wiki - that will really make your brain hurt). Anyway, the report makes interesting reading and will be on their website tomorrow, I'm sure.

* I really am going to have to go back to song titles soon.

1 comment:

rapunzel said...

Save the Children is truly worthy cause. It is a sobering fact that there are millions of children in the world who do not have a happy childhood. How sad is that?
On a more flippant note: I was deemed to be underweight/malnourished when I was in my early teens, even though I ate loads. The school nurse really upset my mum with her accusations! Many, many years on there is no chance anyone would describe me as lacking in calories. Oh for a happy medium!