The Holdsworth Memorial Hospital in Mysore, India, has maintained records of the sizes of all the babies born in its maternity department since 1934, allowing health researchers unique access to a large cross section of the population now in middle age.
Worryingly, the data shows that adults born with low birth weight are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease in later life -- while another long-term study of 8-year-old children demonstrates clear links between fetal growth and retarded development later in life.
Dr. Caroline Fall is an epidemiologist from Southampton University in the UK, who is in charge of coordinating global research into the long-term effects of low birth weight on health and development. She attributes most of the blame for low birth weight children on maternal poverty and undernutrition, which have increased dramatically in India since the government introduced liberalization of trade and agriculture in the early '90s, leading to cutbacks in subsidies on food, agriculture, education and health.
Low birth weight babies grow up to become malnourished mothers, who in turn give birth to more low birth weight babies. This Life episode explores what can be done to improve maternal diet and break the vicious cycle of poverty and ill-health that condemns whole populations to sub-standard lives.
The producer of this program has collected extensive resources at www.tve.org/life/archive/life24main.html
The other titles in the series are:
1. Life: The Story So Far - How the globalized world economy affects ordinary people.
2. Geraldo Off-Line - Globalized economy affects Brazilian factory worker.
3. From Docklands to Dhaka - English MD travels to Bangladesh to improve community health.
4. An Act of Faith: The Phelophepa Health Train - A group of health professionals tours the most deprived regions of South Africa providing care.
5. The Philadelphia Story - Globalized economy affects American jobs.
6. The Boxer - Young male looks to escape Mexican poverty by becoming a boxer in the United States.
7. The Seattle Syndrome - Were the WTO protesters right in their effort to protect workers and the environment from exploitation?
8. The Right to Choose - Women are denied human rights in Ethiopia and northern Nigeria.
9. At the End of a Gun: Women and War - The devastating effect that the civil war in Sri Lanka is having on women.
10. The Summit - The UN General Assembly meets to review progress on social justice worldwide.
11. All Different, All Equal - Examines progress in women's rights globally.
12. India Inhales - Activists combat tobacco companies that target India.
13. The Silver Age - Growing population of elderly worldwide seeks purpose and care.
14. The Cost of Living - AIDS drugs unaffordable in developing countries.
15. The Posse - Rap group in Sao Paulo, Brazil, expresses social problems.
16. Credit Where Credit is Due - Micro-credit organization in Bangladesh provides loans to village poor.
17. Regopstaan's Dream - Bushmen fight to live on ancestral land in South Africa.
18. Untouchable? - The caste system and bonded labor are still alive and well in India.
19. Because They're Worth It - Micro-credit, education, health information, and hope provided to impoverished Chinese.
20. For a Few Pennies More - Iodine deficiency causes health problems in Indonesia.
21. In the Name of Honour - Kurdish women fight for their rights in Northern Iraq.
22. God Among the Children - Community organization works with at-risk youth in Boston.
23. Without Rights - Palestinians are denied human rights.
25. Educating Lucia - The odds are against girls getting an education in Zimbabwe and throughout much of Africa.
26. A-OK? - Examines prospects for Vitamin A distribution programs in Guatemala and Ghana necessary for children's health.
27. Bolivian Blues - Explores the success of new initiative to reduce widespread poverty.
28. The Outsiders - Explores the moral and economic dilemmas that adolescents face in the Ukraine today.
29. The Debt Police - Uganda seeks external debt relief and fights internal corruption.
30. The On-going Story - Final episode examines the international community's commitment to linking social and economic development with human rights.
NOTE: A second series called City Life is now available.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 2000
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-488-5
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-862-6
"Effectively brings out the adverse impact of globalization on India's urban and rural poor. It shows that despite the lure of wealth and technology that flows from globalization, there is a rising underclass in India. Nutrition and health standards for the poorest sections of society remain low and the children of this socioeconomic group remain a lost generation. Definitely worth showing in classes on international and developmental issues."
Dr. Amit Gupta, Stonehill College