State Of The World's Mothers Report 2012

One In 4 Of The World's Children Are Malnourished: State Of The World's Mothers Report 2012

Every year, the SOTWM report ranks the best and worst countries in the world to be a mother. This year, Norway tops the list yet again. Niger comes in last, displacing Afghanistan in the 2011 report. The United States comes in at number 25.

In addition to the annual ranking, the 2012 report focuses specifically on the issue of children's nutrition. One in four of the world's children are chronically malnourished or stunted -- with little access to proper nutrients, these children have underdeveloped brains or bodies.

According to the report, malnutrition kills as many as 2.6 million children and 100,000 mothers every year. Millions of others are left struggling with the physical and mental impairments of stunting. In some parts of the developing world -- like Afghanistan, Burundi and Yemen -- about 60 percent of children are stunted.

Of the six key solutions offered by the report to combat malnutrition, one of the cheapest and most effective is regularly breastfeeding newborns. Nearly 1 million lives can be saved by breastfeeding alone. Unsurprisingly, the United States is the least favorable environment in the industrialized world for mothers who want to breast feed.

The report's other recommendations including investing in frontline health workers, investing in girls' education, maintaining better hygiene and supplementing meals with iron folate, zinc and vitamin A.

Read the report it in its entirety below.

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