Time is scarce and the impact is hard – Here’s what you need to know about Malnutrition:
Did you know that in Pakistan, a country of over 230 million people, about 50 million children are suffering from malnutrition? Malnutrition refers to an incorrect or unbalanced overall intake of nutrients. It means that the children are either exposed to an excess of nutrients or a complete deficiency of all the essential and potentially lifesaving nutrients.
Children, as we all know can be quite picky when it comes to what they eat. They would either want one thing and completely reject the other, then in a day or two, their favorite food would find itself on the floor, with a child stomping their feet, throwing a tantrum, demanding a chocolate biscuit or a nugget. While these can easily fill their stomachs, they lack a satisfactory nutritional value. Biscuits are high in calories, yes, but they have zero nutritional value. All it would do is make the child gain weight, while his insides become weak and over time this weakness would eventually manifest in the form of numerous health issues including stunted growth, eye problems, diabetes, and heart disease, some of which could have been easily prevented if the child’s proper nutritional needs were met.
More often and most commonly, it’s not just the case of a moody child, but the lack of awareness on the parent’s side. They do not understand the importance of a healthy nutritional meal, some are not even aware of the term nutrition! For them, food is just something to fill their stomachs, and they end up feeding their child anything and everything, no matter its nutritional or caloric value.
It’s a genuine predicament with an easy solution – Create Awareness. If the parents are more aware of the threats and consequences of a nutritionally deficient diet, then it is highly likely that they would be more vigilant and conscious of their food choices.
How to combat Malnutrition?
First and foremost, educate the general population on the basics of nutrition and a healthy nutritious meal. Make it compulsory to study a course in nutrition in schools and universities or organize campaigns in various rural and urban areas to reach people of all ages.
Furthermore, with our lacking diet and the ever-growing demand for fast foods, a healthy and balanced nutritious meal is put on the sidelines. These foods are presented in such an attractive manner and the extra calories and insane amount of salt added to them make them irresistible and borderline addicting. In the long run, it is better to cut these foods off completely, but to cater to the lack of nutrition, various multivitamin drops, tablets, gummies, or fortified snacks can be used. These multivitamins are a great way to overcome nutritional deficiencies and can help imminently eradicate malnutrition from our society.
Nutrition is an integral part of our body and should never be ignored! Let’s all join together and fight malnutrition and create awareness to eradicate it for a better and healthier future for us and our future generations.