Nutrition and Children

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BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Base on Wikipedia, in most of the world, malnutrition is present in the form of undernutrition, which is caused by a diet lacking adequate calories and protein. While malnutrition is more common in developing countries, it is also present in industrialized countries. In wealthier nations it is more likely to be caused by unhealthy diets with excess energy, fats, and refined carbohydrates. A growing trend of obesity is now a major public health concern in lower socio-economic levels and in developing countries as well. The World Health Organization cites malnutrition as the greatest single threat to the world's public health. According to irinnews.org, the leading countries that has a large number of chronically malnourished children are Afghanistan (59 percent), Yemen (58 percent), and the Southeast Asian half-island nation bordering Indonesia and Timor-Leste (54 percent).

Around a third of young children in southern Afganistan are acutely malnourished. Around a million Afghans under five are acutely malnourished, according to the UN-backed survey. By far the worst affected area is the southern region – centred around Kandahar and Helmand – that was the Taliban's birthplace and has seen some of the heaviest fighting of the decade-long war. The Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) found 29.5% of children are suffering from acute malnutrition there. A major problem is attitudes to breast feeding, according to UN nutrition specialist Elham Monsef. Women are often told breast milk is not good enough or find it hard to nurse, so infants are given everything from tea and water, which have no nutritional value, to formula milk that is over-diluted or made with dirty water. The UN and aid groups are now racing to gather more details on the scale of the problem, and worst-hit locations.

Malnutrition is more common in India than in Sub-Saharan Africa. One in every three malnourished children in the world lives in India. Around 46 per cent of all children below the age of three are too small for their age, 47 per cent are underweight and at least 16 per cent are wasted. Many of these children are severely malnourished(unicef.org/india). According to the report, half of the country's children are chronically malnourished and malnutrition is higher among children whose mothers are uneducated or have less than five years of education. This is an issue that the government of india is also deeply concerned about.

Yemen has some of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. Over ten million people in Yemen are currently thought to be at risk because of insufficient food and in the worst affected parts of the country as many as one in three children are suffering from life-threatening acute malnutrition. More than one in eight of all children under five years old in Yemen are classified as 'acutely undernourished', meaning they are at immediate risk of dying because of preventable childhood illnesses made worse by ill health and a reduced diet. Britain has committed to provide critical support over three years, allowing the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to work with the Government of Yemen to plan long term solutions to the current crisis. They will address the root causes of malnutrition rather than simply tackling the symptoms (dfid.gov.uk).

With Southeast Asia’s vast rice fields and bountiful fruit trees, one would never guess that it has the largest population of hungry people in the world. Approximately 70.0% of the world's malnourished children live in Asia, resulting in the region having the highest concentration of childhood malnutrition. One in eight Cambodian children dies between birth and age five and the early childhood death rate is even higher in Laos. Babies born to malnourished mothers are more likely to be underweight with compromised immune systems that put them at higher risk for infection and long-term disabilities. However, even with these bleak...
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