Here’s one reason the Middle East is so unstable: In most Arab countries, it’s feast or famine. Between 15% and 25% of Arab children under 5 are too short for their age and between 5% and 15% are underweight. Almost half of pregnant Egyptian women are anemic, due to an iron deficiency often caused by poor diets. In contrast, a 2006 survey revealed that 30% of Egyptian adults were obese. Obesity estimates for Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were between 35% and 45%.
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In the US, kids are holding bake sales and setting up lemonade stands to try to raise money for the starving children of Somalia that they see on the TV news every night. But one of Africa’s largest charities– Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders or MSF) is telling people not to do that, because the money and food is NOT reaching the people who need it, since the reason for this famine is not drought, it’s WAR.
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The world?s stock of fish may be much lower than we thought, because of unreliable figures released by China about the number of fish being caught. Local Chinese officials, who wanted to impress their bosses, inflated the size of catches by Chinese fishermen. Staff promotions at the Chinese fisheries department used to be made on the basis of catch figures but the department ended this practice two years ago. Analysts using these figures assumed that fish stocks were healthier than they really were and seriously underestimated the effects of overfishing, despite the fact that it has long been known that there is a shortage of fish in some of the seas around China.
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