Nutrition among children has long been the concern of the Save the Children organization.

In its new "Food for Thought" report, it has established that a lacking diet can severely damage a child's physical and mental development. According to the report, mental development becomes a concern because while many children in impoverished countries now have access to education, it will make no difference given the effects of malnutrition.

Children need far more nutrients than adults because they are growing and developing. Without key nutrients early in life, their bodies will grow with those deficiencies and these deficiencies often lead to diseases, such as the formation of a goiter. A goiter is a swelling of the thyroid gland caused by a lack of iodine, an essential nutrient necessary for optimal development of the particular gland and the rest of the body.

Malnourishment, or the condition in which a body does not receive enough nutrients, can be most dangerous in a child's early years. Nutrients, found in a variety of foods, are necessary for the body to make its building blocks. If the body is unable to make its own building blocks, it enters a starvation mode in the effort to conserve the few nutrients it does have, but often the body starts to feed on itself; breaking down important tissues found in the brain, eyes, and other organs, in order to keep the child alive.

This kind of deterioration, known as stunting, can be very dangerous and often leads to death, most often among children.

Four out of ten children in poor countries like Tanzania, India, and Peru, are malnourished while 165 million children in the world are malnourished. Malnourished children are 20 percent less able to read and earn 20 percent less money than properly nourished children later in life.

Some headway has been made. Between 1990 and 2011, the number of children under five years of age dropped from 12 million to 6.9 million. However, the survivors may still be starving and suffering the effects of malnutrition.

Lindsay Atkins, mother, blogger, and advocate for Enough Food For Everyone IF, in a recent Youtube video for the campaign, said, "The world has enough food for everyone, but not everyone has enough food."

Solutions outlined in "Food for Thought" are direct and indirect. Direct interventions include breast feeding and providing micronutrient supplements and fortification of existing foods like water and milk. Indirect interventions include social protections and encouragement of agricultural production in impoverished countries to meet children's nutritional needs without having to spend money families may not have.

The findings come days before a hunger summit in London, taking place in the run-up to this year's G8 Summit where world leaders can provide the funding necessary to set Save the Children's plans into action and transform the lives of the children affected by hunger globally.

The findings and solutions in the report hope to boost prosperity of entire countries affected by malnourishment in an effort to make the world a more hospitable environment for children.