Lost Generations

Life - Lost Generations
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.

'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


Main credits

Basu, Nupur (film director)
Basu, Nupur (film producer)
Basu, Nupur (narrator)
Gawin, Luke (film producer)
Richards, Jenny (film producer)
Turville, Anna (editor of moving image work)
Mohan, Reena (editor of moving image work)
Lamb, Robert (editor of moving image work)
Qadeer, Imrana (on-screen participant)
Pandit, Anand (on-screen participant)
Fall, Caroline (on-screen participant)
Yajnik, C. S. (on-screen participant)
Ghosh, Jayati (on-screen participant)
Sinha, Yeshwant (on-screen participant)
Karat, Brinda (on-screen participant)
Paul, Swaraj (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Editors, Anna Turville, Reena Mohan; executive producer, Jenny Richards; series producer, Luke Gawin; series editor, Robert Lamb.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Developing World
European Studies
Food And Nutrition
Global Issues
Human Rights
International Studies
Reproductive Rights
Social Justice
United Nations
Women's Studies


; "Lost Generations"; Bullfrog Films