Estimate the present value of futures cost due to undernutrition in Argentina in 2010. Analyze the effect of anemia among pregnant women in neonatal mortality and its productivity implications. Analyze the effect on child cognition deficit and depressed adult productivity of anemia in children under 59 months.
The cost were first estimated following the methodology proposed in The economic consequences of malnutrition in Cambodia UNICEF and The World Food Programme in 2013. In a second step cost were estimated excluding anemia in pregnant women and childhood anemia.
In Argentina 30.5 % of the woman who were pregnant had anemia and 17.2 % of the children between 6 and 59 months had anemia. Taking anemia into account increased 76 % the cost of undernutrition. 312 children under one year would die due to anemia during pregnancy increasing productivity losses by U$S 10.6 millons. Childhood anemia would decreased wages in adulthood by U$S 569.13 millons which represents 60.7 % of the losses due to lower cognitive achievement.
Iron deficiency limits the ability of a child to reach their full potential and has a high impact in the cost of undernutrition in Argentina. The prevalence of anemia among pregnant women and childhood anemia implies a cost of opportunity for Argentina and limits its growth and development.