Nearly one-third of children living in China's poorest areas suffer from malnutrition, the government said Saturday, underscoring the country's growing economic divide.
Citing a report from the Beijing-based Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety, the official Xinhua News Agency said 29 percent of children younger than 5 and living in poverty-stricken regions of southwestern China's Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, and in Qinghai in the northwest, were malnourished.
By contrast, it said, child malnutrition in urban areas stood at only 1 percent.
Xinhua said the institute's survey was conducted among more than 200,000 people, including 23,400 children, across the country.
It said the institute found that city children have ready access to healthy foods such as formula milk powder and yogurt, while their rural counterparts often make do with cheap syrups and soft drinks.
(Xinhua News Agency October 10, 2005)