Research links deforestation in Cambodia to stunting in kids, anemia in women

An analysis of public health data in Cambodia has found increased rates of malnutrition among children born in areas where deforestation had recently occurred.

New research has linked prenatal exposure to deforestation in Cambodia to child stunting and anemia among women.

This link between human well-being and forest loss illustrates how the latter can compound preexisting rural health issues in Cambodia, a country notorious for high levels of both deforestation and malnutrition.

Gabriel Fuentes Cordoba, an associate professor at Japan’s Sophia University, combined forest loss data with figures from national demographic health surveys for his recent study on Cambodia. In an email interview with Mongabay, Fuentes Cordoba said his analysis found children born to women in villages within 5 kilometers (3 miles) of “areas that experience deforestation a year before their conception are more likely to be shorter and thinner for their age.”

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