Let’s first learn –
What is Nutrition?
‘Nutrition is the process of providing the body with food, necessary for health and growth.’
Nutrition plays a vital role in growth, development and child survival–while malnutrition deprives the child of this. A scientific evidence generated by economics, psychology and neuroscience demonstrated that investments made in the earlier years in children greatly impact their long-term physical and mental health. Children suffering from stunting, fail to attain full cognitive potential thus their lives are at marked disadvantage. They tend to face learning difficulty in school, earn less as adults and show poor social participation— compared to ‘Nutritionally Healthy Children’.
What is Malnutrition?
Malnutrition is defined as ‘Undernutrition’ resulting from inadequate consumption of food, poor absorption or excessive loss of nutrients or ‘Overnutrition’ – resulting from excessive intake of specific nutrients.
Childhood malnutrition- is an enduring problem in developing countries. Malnutrition among children under-five, is a major public health problem in India, especially in rural areas. Cases with mild-to-moderate malnutrition are likely to remain unrecognized because conventional measures of under nutrition may be missing out a considerable proportion of undernourished children present in the population.
More than one third of the world’s malnourished children, live in India. Among these, half of the children under three years, are under nourished. Despite of Integrated Child Development Schemes–Programs (ICDS), malnutrition remains a significant problem in India. Half of the child deaths in India could be prevented if this one issue is tackled.
Children die because malnutrition lowers a child’s resistance to infection. “Children are our future, and the mothers are their guardians”. Almost 11 million children die before they reach the age of five and four million of them in the first month of life.
In India, one out of every 2 children go to bed on an empty stomach. Malnutrition is one of the largest factors suppressing India’s spectacular growth. In a country of lunar missions, billionaires and nuclear power, a staggering 46% of all Indian children under five years, are underweight. Malnutrition is widespread in rural, tribal and urban slum areas and it is a significant public health problem described as a silent killer. It is well known that malnutrition is frequently a part of a vicious cycle that includes poverty and infections, the devastating effects of which can last a lifetime and even affect the next generation.
The underlying factors for malnutrition differ from one region to other— They could be—
*Birth Order and Birth Interval
*Breast Feeding Practices
*Calorie and Protein Intake
Rectifying the Issue—
Proper nutrition for children that leads to adequate growth is “the essential foundation of human development”. Literacy of the mother has a much higher impact than father’s literacy on better nutritional status of children. ‘
‘Healthy Children build A Healthy Nation’
So, connect with our expert ‘EKAM’ at www.ekamoneness.org to learn how, we as a community, can help our future generation.