I read the Lancet paper – I work on R&D, so I have access to such papers and the technical knowledge to interpet them.
The study was made on 1500 kids from selected age groups in PA and UNRWA schools. And they show the typical pattern of underdeveloped countries: you have both children obesity and malnutrition, results of bad healthcare and poverty more than anything else.
Stunting 7%, underweight 7%, 12% overweight, 6% obese.
Here are the conclusions of the study:
“By contrast with the results of previous studies, our data do not suggest an association between birth order, birthweight, size of the household, maternal education, and the child’s nutritional status. Our results show the need to target food insecurity and improve child health in the occupied Palestinian territory, partly through increased awareness and promotion of sustainable healthy lifestyle changes for the prevention and management of undernutrition and obesity. The dissemination of information about the social, emotional, and cognitive eff ects of
regular physical activity should be integral to health and nutrition programmes. We need to focus simultaneously on food insecurity and the establishment of a simple and reliable system for the detection of malnutrition; and we need to implement programmes related to the negative eff ects of adverse lifestyles.”
The key word here is lifestyle, not occupation.
The Lancet has a study on malnutrition in mothers and children in underdeveloped countries. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60937-X
It is a large paper, so I summarize the results below (no results for obesity, although the paper does mention that child obesity is a growing concern). The results for overweight are in plots, so I rounded them, but the results do show my point:
Latin America: stunting 13.4%, underweight 3.4%, 8% overweight
Africa: stunting 35.6%, underweight 17.7%, 12% overweight
Asia: stunting 26.8%, underweight 19.3%, 7.5% overweight
World: stunting 25.7%, underweight 15.7%, 7% overweight
HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES: stunting 7.2%, underweight 2.4%, overweight 15%
That is, the results in Palestinian Arabs children in Gaza, Judea and Samaria may be worrying, but hardly out of sync with the rest of the world. On the contrary, they are closer to high income countries!