Updated: May 30, 2021
Step up to ensure that kids have normal growth.
Eating right is important during all stages of life however it becomes quite crucial during early age as intake of right portion with right nutrients helps for child’s physical and mental growth .
Unfortunately National Family Health Survey (NFHS) shows a very blink picture
We are facing a contradictory situation wherein > 70% children across India are observed to be either suffering from under-eating or over-eating leading to rising cases of Underweight (>35%), Wasted (>20%) & Stunted (>38%) kids!!!
Result is, rising malnutrition amongst kids irrespective of social status, economic status or location. Don't confuse mal nourishment with under nourishment. mal nourishment means one is not getting adequate nutrients required for growth, fitness and healthy lifestyle.
What does it mean for kids ...
One of the major causes for this rising malnutrition is rapidly changing eating habits amongst children largely influenced by media (print, visual, internet, social sites), catchy targeted advertisements from fast food companies, peer groups ,social interactions, eating habits in home, eating options in or near school etc. . .
These all are leading to higher consumption of sugary items, processed food, foods high in saturated fats, industrially produced trans fat whereas physical activity has been largely replaced by options like television or mobiles or internet which unknowingly contributing to increased empty calories consumption.
As indicated in National family Health Survey –IV, number of kids who are stunted or wasted are on the rise specially in urban and economically stronger households. This is a serious concern as this may lead to lifestyle related diseases in future like type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, obesity, and may also affect reproductive health by causing early sexual maturity and mental health.
What to do now ...
As childhood provides a window of opportunity to establish healthy food habits during early age, it is prudent that we should step up and work to ensure that kids will be healthier. Let’s invest in efforts to teach/provide right food choices to our children and check the possibility of utilizing the above mentioned current bad influencers as a medium to influence them choose right foods by propagating right messages !!!
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