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4 Causes That Contribute To Malnutrition In Children

4 Causes That Contribute To Malnutrition In Children

Malnutrition is a dietary deficiency that leads to poor health. When we think of malnutrition, we think of children not eating the right foods. But, eating too much of the wrong foods is also malnutrition. Being sensitive to the nutritional needs of your child and avoiding factors that could potentially lead to malnutrition, is what every parent should keep in mind. To form good eating habits amongst children it is important to understand the causes of malnutrition. Health NGOs in India like VASTRA strive to promote good healthcare and create awareness so that every child, regardless of their family background and situation in society, reaches his full potential.

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4 Causes That Contribute To Malnutrition In Children

Here, we have listed 4 major reasons that lead to malnutrition in children:

  1. Poor diet quality

    Young children are more vulnerable to malnutrition and the quality of diet they intake is the major factor in their poor health. The World Health Organization states that 3.1 million child deaths each year are caused due to malnutrition and millions of other children have lasting damage due to it. Malnutrition is the most dangerous threat to global public health.

    Children are more prone to severe diseases like chronic malnutrition and stunting- whereby children are too short compared to their age. Poor nourishment, inadequate care, and living in unhealthy environments can affect a child’s physical and mental capabilities.

  2. Poor maternal health

    The health of a child for the first two years is the most crucial. If the mother is malnourished during her pregnancy it can lead to complications while giving birth. If the mother is undernourished, children are born small. Severely malnourished mothers find it difficult to breastfeed their infants.

    As we all know breastfeeding a child for the first six months is essential as it has health benefits that extend to later life. But a malnourished mother who is unable to breastfeed her child, may not pass on these health benefits and the child can be prone to malnutrition. Therefore, VASTRA works towards promoting good healthcare facilities for underprivileged people.

  3. Socioeconomic factors

    Socioeconomic factors like poverty and education also have an impact on the malnourishment of a child. In developing countries, the number one cause of malnutrition is poverty. These families that live in poverty cannot afford fresh fruits and vegetables. To fill up their stomach they rely on cheap, stale, and unhealthy foods.

    Lack of education and awareness about the food to consume and how much to eat is another major cause of malnourishment. Some poor families that can afford healthy food lack knowledge about the nutrients essential for their child’s growth and development. This leads to malnourishment amongst children.

  4. Conflict and war

    Around 240 million children are affected due to conflict and unrest. These children suffer from stunted growth because of malnutrition and are also less likely to live past the age of 5. In countries like South Sudan and Syria, conflict and war have created devastating conditions for children. Access to healthy and appropriate food becomes a challenge. In situations like this, any NGO working for sanitation and child welfare offers a helping hand by way of volunteers and donors.

In India, many children from poor and underprivileged families are malnourished and lose out on a bright and fulfilled future due to it. You can help these children by way of donations or volunteer with VASTRA, which is also a trusted education NGO in Mumbai, India.

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