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Guatemala currently has the third highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world. More than 49% of Guatemalan children under 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition (ENSMI), and that figure exceeds 65% for children in rural areas (UNICEF).

Chronic malnutrition causes stunting, lower income as adults, and hinders intellectual growth. As a result, almost half of children in Guatemala have been left behind, physically and cognitively, before they are 5 years old. This poses not only a grave public health issue, but also a major obstacle for the country’s development. Malnutrition costs Guatemala over $300 million per year in lost GDP.

Conventional wisdom long held that Maya peoples were genetically shorter than Europeans. Studies of immigrant children have recently proven this to be false (see B. Bogin et al. 2002):