Supplement maker and foundation aim to improve rural nutrition

Updated: 2013-08-28 20:10

By Li Wenfang (

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Chinese nutritional supplement maker By-Health Co and the China Youth Development Foundation launched a three-year program on Tuesday to improve the nutrition of rural students.

Under the program, 300 rural school teachers will be trained in courses on nutrition and provided with supplement products. The program will benefit 300 Hope Schools in 15 counties sponsored by the company and the foundation.

By-Health will spend nearly 10 million yuan ($1.63 million) for the program.

Among rural students aged between 7 and 15, about 12 million suffer from anemia and 18 billion are underweight and malnourished, according to a report by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention about the health of Chinese youths.

Boys in rural areas between the ages of 7 and 15 are on average 3.2 centimeters shorter and 3.8 kilograms lighter than urban boys of the same age range. Girls in rural parts are 2.7 cm shorter and 2.4 kg lighter.

"We found that apart from a shortage of food, a lack of knowledge about nutrition is one of the key reasons behind health problems for children in poor areas," said Tu Meng, secretary-general of the China Youth Development Foundation.

In Japan, almost every school has a nutrition specialist. In most China counties, specialists are not available, said Zhai Fengying, executive deputy director of the China Nutrition Society.