+
True
Gates Foundation: The Story of Food

How can you measure progress in a developing country? In Bangladesh, you can do it with a yardstick.

Image via Akram Ali/CARE.


Over the past 12 years, something incredible happened in Bangladesh: The kids grew taller than usual.

It's a discovery that, at first, left many development and nutrition experts scratching their heads. Just how — in parts of a country that lead the world in malnutrition and where global grain shortages are rampant — are children growing taller than usual?

When the experts fit the pieces all together, the results were amazing.

Bangladesh's kids grew taller because the country focused on its women.

We live in a world where millions of children aren't able to grow as big as they should because of a condition often referred to as stunting. It happens when kids are malnourished — and it happens a lot. More than 3 million children under the age of 5 die every year because of malnourishment.

But that's started to change in countries like Bangladesh.

In 2004, the poverty-fighting organization CARE, USAID, and the Bangladesh government teamed up to launch the SHOUHARDO project (which means “friendship” in Bangla and also stands for Strengthening Household Ability to Respond to DevelopmentOpportunities). At the time, they didn't realize the how much focusing on women's empowerment in the country would affect its children.

Image via Akram Ali/CARE.

From 2006 to 2009, the country decreased stunting in its children by 28%.

That's nearly double the average of the typical food security project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

How'd they manage to do it? By providing women with resources that improve maternal health outcomes, access to safe sanitation, household assets, maternal education, and access to health services.

The benefits of the project go well beyond the lives of the women in the project — they spill into the lives of their families, their communities, and to the next generation.

It’s the best kind of domino effect.

Image via Josh Estey/CARE.

“Women who participated in the empowerment interventions were getting better antenatal care, eating more nutritious food and getting more rest during pregnancy,” said TANGO International’s Lisa Smith, lead author of a paper about the project.

“They and their children also had better diets in terms of the variety of foods.”

We can prove that developing countries can help their kids to grow taller and healthier when organizations and governments work together.

Bangladesh's multidimensional approach to reducing childhood stunting should have world leaders taking notes.

And right now is the perfect time to grab them a pen.

Image via Akram Ali/CARE.

On Aug. 4, 2016, global leaders and governments are convening at the Second High Level Summit on Nutrition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

There, they’ll discuss their roles in fighting hunger and malnutrition around the world. It'll be the largest, most important event to address global nutrition issues until 2020.

But as we know, talking isn’t enough. Governments will need to make policy changes and commit more resources to reducing the number of children affected by malnutrition — and that's exactly why the Generation Nutrition coalition is advocating for three main goals out of Rio: calling on world leaders to commit to action, building sustainable communities to focus on prevention, and making sure every child has the treatment they need.

Image via Generation Nutrition.

Why does this matter? Well, food plays a critical role in virtually every aspect of the world’s future.

And, currently, only 4% of aid has a direct impact on nutrition. That's a problem.

When you consider food as a basic need of survival, it’s hard to argue that percentage shouldn’t be higher. Kids with a healthier shot at life will end up saving us big bucks in the long run, as problems from poor health and poverty only get worse and more expensive the longer they go on.

Seeing how women's empowerment can directly affect a child's ability to grow taller and healthier shows just how connected global issues are. It can help us more easily disrupt the cycle of poverty — and create a future where kids can grow to be their best selves.

The nutrition summit is an opportunity to help set a path toward better nutrition and futures for our world's children. But it's up to our leaders to actually help make that path a clearer one.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
Keep ReadingShow less
All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

Keep ReadingShow less