Friday 31 January 2020

Malnutrition In Children

Malnutrition  can  be  caused  by  deficiencies,  excesses, or imbalances  in an  individual’s  consumption  of  nutrients. It addresses 3 broad groups of conditions: 

  • Undernutrition(stunting, wasting and underweight);
  • Hidden hunger caused by a lack of essential nutrients;
  • Overweight among children under the age of five.

    As children begin transitioning to soft or solid foods around the six-month mark, too many are introduced to the wrong kind of diet. As they grow older, their exposure to unhealthy food becomes alarming, driven largely by inappropriate marketing and advertising, the abundance of ultra-processed foods in cities but also in remote areas, and increasing access to fast food and highly sweetened beverages. 
There is basically three major 

Causes Off Malnutrition

  • Basic causes which include poverty,  insecurity  and  lack  of  access  to  clean  water.
  • Underlying Causes This  is  usually  found  at  the  community  level  as  a  result  of  failure  of an  individual  and:  household  to  obtain  proper  nutrition  due  to  food insecurity,  inequitable  distribution  of  wealth  and  poor  housing.
  • Immediate Cause include Inadequate  intake  or  poor  absorption  due  to diseases  and  infections  including  malarial,  acute  diarrheal  disease, measles,  HIV-AIDS  and  tuberculosis especially  if  a  delay  occurs  in  seeking  professional  health care.
Consequences of malnutrition in the society

The consequences of malnutrition includes increased risk of infection, death, and delayed cognitive development, leading to low adult incomes, poor economic growth and intergenerational transmission of poverty. Children with malnutrition have reduced ability to fight infection and are more likely to die from common diseases such as malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases 

   Globally, malnutrition is regarded as the most important risk factor for illness and death and it is associated with 52.5 % of all deaths in young children. According to UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank, out of the 161 million under-fives estimated to be stunted globally in 2013, over a third resided in Africa. In Nigeria, malnutrition remains a major public health and development concern:49 percent of children under five years of age are not growing well (they are either stunted, wasted or overweight). This is partly because 34 percent of children between six months and two years of age are fed food that is not rich and diversified enough to ensure optimal growth. This puts them at risk of poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity, increased infections and, in many cases, death.


High levels of malnutrition have multidimensional consequences for children which will impact resilience and long-term development of households and children, including intergenerational effects. Addressing malnutrition is not only lifesaving but it is also essential to strengthen the resilience of communities and systems, to support long term development goals and improve human capital,

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