Diet of 90% children may be nutrient-deficient, finds Bengaluru study
A study conducted among schoolchildren found that nutrients such as vitamin A, folate, vitamin B12 and iron are grossly inadequate in the diet of kids.Updated: May 05, 2017 09:55 IST
The diet of around 90% children could be deficient in essential nutrients, warns a new study.
Nine out of every 10 children could be at risk of inadequate micronutrient intake, with almost 70% at risk of having insufficient intake of four or more micronutrients, according to a study published by the Community Institute of Management Studies (CIMS).
The study, conducted among 634 school-going children, said that the intake of nutrients that are most inadequate in the Bengaluru study are vitamin A, folate, vitamin B12 and iron, leaving children susceptible to stunting, weakened immune systems, impaired cognitive function, anaemia, low energy levels and other devastating effects of hidden hunger.
The study suggested that what constitutes a balanced diet for a mother is the home-cooked healthy food she puts on her child’s plate, but the lesser known fact is that a balanced diet is the amount of intake of crucial vitamins and minerals which are needed for healthy growth of a child.
Micronutrient deficiency, also known as hidden hunger, is the key underlining issue and can be explained as inadequate intake of crucial vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin A and folate, which are needed for healthy mental and physical growth of children.
Parents can also look out for fortified foods and drinks, which have been consistently ranked as the top investments to make in a child’s development.
Considering how important better nourished children are to maximising India’s developmental potential, working with parents for better childhood nutrition is increasingly becoming an imperative and not just an option.
Empowering ordinary mothers and fathers to lead the charge to spread awareness and act can only hasten efforts to make hidden hunger a thing of the past.
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