Child Nutrition Boosts Adult Income: Study

Guatemalan kids given supplement earn 50% more as grown-ups
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 4:20 PM CST
Maya indigenous women attend the inauguration ceremony of elected Mayan municipal officials in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Eating a nutritious diet as an infant has a significant effect on income later in life, a study published in the Lancet finds. Researchers looked at Guatemalan males over a three-decade period and found that those who had received a nutritious food supplement were earning close to 50% more per hour as grown men than those who had not.

Because nutrition was the only factor that varied for the subject pool of Guatemalan villagers, the study is the first to isolate nutrition from a host of other advantages, like schooling and economic environment, known to influence financial success. The findings could affect how economic aid is distributed in the developing world, the BBC reports.