Stunted growth and underweight: How to help address the effects of improper nutrition in your child
Reaching the Right Height and Weight for Your Child
Stunted growth and being underweight are two conditions that continue to be prevalent among Filipino children due largely to improper nutrition. According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Philippines’ (FNRI) 2015 Updating of the Nutritional Status of Filipinos, one in every three children aged 5 to 10 is affected by stunted growth. At the same time, one in every three children aged 5 to 10 is underweight.
The reality of these conditions reflects not only the sorry state of nutrition in our country, but other factors, such as lack of access to health services or poor and unsanitary care practices and conditions. Basic knowledge about stunted growth and being underweight can help alleviate these problems for future generations.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is stunted growth?
Stunted growth is the lack of height for a child’s age as a result of improper nutrition, recurrence of illness, and environmental conditions. In 2017, the Department of Health (DOH) determined that the Philippines has one of the highest rates of stunted children in Southeast Asia. According to the FNRI, 31.1% of Filipino kids are affected by the said condition.
Stunted growth, especially in a child’s early years, is often irreversible, and can permanently affect them for life. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some consequences include poor cognition, lost productivity, and an increased risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases later on.
What is underweight?
Being underweight is a condition where a child lacks the standard weight for their age as a result of improper nutrition. It remains to be a major concern in the country. Underweight children are exposed to health risks such as a compromised immune system, and susceptibility to bone and cardiovascular diseases.
How can we help address Stunted Growth and Underweight?
Maximum growth potential can only be addressed in the first 1000 days of a child’s life, but they can till reach their ideal height if given continuous proper nutrition. At the same time, being underweight can be addressed at any point of a child’s life through proper nutrition and a balanced diet.
Proper nutrition all throughout the child’s development years is vital in order to reach the right height and weight for his age.
So, what can you do?
1. Check if your child has reached the right height and right weight for their age. Height and weight charts such as this one from the World Health Organization (WHO) are helpful when you want to determine if your child falls within the standard height or weight for their age.
2. Learn more about the effects of Stunted Growth and being Underweight by doing your own research. Materials and resources from the FNRI, who offer a height and weight calculator, and even the WHO are just a Google search away. These will help you become more familiar with signs, risks, and other consequences linked with these conditions.
3. Most importantly, give your child proper nutrition. As a parent, proper nutrition for your child should be imperative. Make sure your child has a nutritious and well-balanced diet all throughout their developmental years. One important food item that should always be present in your child’s diet is milk, which is full of nutrients vital for your child’s growth.
• Calcium – for healthy bones and teeth
• Vitamin D – for normal Calcium absorption
• Protein – for muscle growth and development
• Iron – for efficient production of red blood cells
To help your child reach the right height and weight for is age, give them the new Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink. It has the essential nutrients your child needs to help him achieve his maximum growth potential: it’s a good source of vitamin D, high in calcium for healthy development of bones and teeth, high in iron for healthy function and development of red blood cells, and a good source of protein for muscle development.
The new Alaska Fortified is also made more delicious than previous formulation!
Help your child reach tamang tangkad at bigat with the nutritious and delicious Alaska Fortified Powdered Milk Drink!
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