Malnourished children suffer irreparable damage to their health
The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) warns that about five out of six children under the age of two do not receive enough food. This insufficient intake of food for old age leads to irreparable damage to health. Around half of children between the ages of six months and two years did not receive the required amount of food.
Experts from the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) found that five out of six children under the age of two have insufficient food intake. In some cases, this is so low that it can lead to irreparable damage to health. The doctors published a press release on the results of their investigation.
Many babies are given solid food far too late
Unicef's new report sheds light on the sad reality in developing countries. One in five babies received solid food for the first time at the age of 11 months. However, the recommended age for the first solid food is six months, say the doctors.
Lack of food diversity affects body and mind
The report, published on the occasion of World Food Day, fears that the wrong choice of food, the low frequency of meals and a lack of food diversity will affect both physical (bones and body) and cognitive development (brain growth) during this crucial time in life could. Poor nutrition at such a young age causes irreversible mental and physical damage, explains France Begin, nutritionist at Unicef.
Balanced and varied meals are very important for children
Even in wealthier families, one in three children between the ages of six and eleven months suffers from a poor diet. This form of nutrition, for example, lacks important vitamins and proteins. In the poorest households in Africa and South Asia, only one in six children receive balanced meals, the experts say. Such a balanced diet includes, for example, meat, eggs, fish and dairy products.
Healthy eating during the first two years of life should be strictly observed
The first two years of life are very important for future physical and mental development. How is it possible that so many children will not receive adequate nutrition in 2016, asks Unicef expert France Begin. The first two years of life are an important basis for setting the course for a later life through a healthy diet. Such an opportunity should not be missed, Begin adds.
Proper nutrition could prevent around 100,000 deaths a year
The experts explain that the right amount and the right choice of food in babies and toddlers could prevent around 100,000 deaths per year. In addition, proper nutrition would also cost medical treatment in adulthood and improve productivity, the Unicef medical team said.
Junk food is unhealthy and endangers the children
Another important concern with food was the availability and consumption of so-called junk food. A restriction to such foods also leads to a lack of vital nutrients. These foods also contain high levels of fat, sugar and salt. Nevertheless, this type of diet has become increasingly popular in rich and poor households, Begin explains. Children also receive insufficient nutrients from their diet if they eat foods that are only high in sugar and fat instead of healthy foods. With such a diet, it is not possible for the affected children to grow properly. Such a child has no real chance at all, says Unicef employee France Begin. (as)