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Editorial policy

The Food and Nutrition Bulletin is intended to make available policy analyses, state-of-the-art summaries, and original scientific articles relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world. It is not intended for the publication of scientific articles of principal interest only to individuals in a single discipline or within a single country or region. Notices of relevant books and other publications will be published if they are received for review. The Bulletin is also a vehicle for notices of forthcoming international meetings that satisfy the above criteria and for summaries of such meetings.

The Food and Nutrition Bulletin also serves as the principal outlet for the publication of reports of working groups and other activities of the UN ACC Sub-committee on Nutrition (SCN) and its Advisory Group on Nutrition. The SCN itself is a focal point for co-ordinating activities of FAO, WHO, UNICEF, the UNU. Unesco, the World Bank, the World Food Programme, the World Food Council, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other bodies of the United Nations system which have an interest in food and nutrition.

Unsolicited manuscripts of articles of the type published in this and previous issues may be sent to the editor at the Cambridge office address given above. They must be typed, double-spaced, with complete references and must include original copy for any figures used (see the "Note for contributors" in the back of this issue). All articles submitted will be reviewed promptly and the author will he notified of the editorial decision. Any disciplinary or conceptual approach relevant to problems of world hunger and malnutrition is welcome, and controversy over some of the articles is anticipated. Letters to the editor are encouraged and will be printed if judged to have an adequate basis and to be of sufficient general interest.

It is expressly understood that articles published in the Bulletin do not necessarily represent the views of the United Nations University or of any United Nations organization. The views expressed and the accuracy of the information on which they are based are the responsibility of the authors. Some articles in the Bulletin are reports of various international committees and working groups and do represent the consensus of the individuals involved; whether or not they also represent the opinions or policies of the sponsoring organization is expressly stated

Nutrition and education

Nutrition and education: Editorial introduction

The activities of the United Nations agencies with programmes in nutrition are harmonized at an annual meeting of the Sub-committee on Nutrition (SCN) of the UN Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC). These meetings begin with a symposium on an important nutrition issue, and papers from them are often published in the Food and Nutrition Bulletin. The three papers that follow were presented at the symposium on Nutrition and School Performance, held during the 16th session of the SCN, which took place at Unesco headquarters in Paris in February 1990.

The first paper is the summary chapter of a monograph, Malnutrition and Infection in the Classroom, which was commissioned and has since been published by Unesco. It clearly documents the adverse impact of malnutrition and infection on the educational outcomes of schoolchildren and suggests means of addressing this problem. The following two papers also deal with health and nutrition considerations in the education of children. The first examines the educational consequences of health problems among school-age children and the second deals with the cost and effectiveness of school-based interventions.

Collectively these papers provide definitive confirmation of the need to take into account the direct effects on learning and behaviour of poor health resulting from the synergistic interaction of malnutrition and infection among underprivileged children. It is clear that these effects sharply reduce the cost-effectiveness of education programmes and provide a further incentive for allotment of resources to the improvement of the health of both pre-school and school-age children. These conclusions are important for increasing the effectiveness of investments in the education of underprivileged children in any society. They suggest that where the majority of children are at risk of poor nutrition and frequent infections, as in many developing countries, primary health care may be as important as primary education for improving the educational level of future generations.

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