Infant and Child Nutrition
Williamston High School
Nutrition is a significant part of all human lives. Specifically nutrition in the early years of a humans life is crucial to key developments like cognitive and speech skills. Nutritional standards can be divided into two parts: undernutrition, which is composed of not consuming enough calories and macronutrient debt which is a deficiency of vital vitamins, and children and infants not receiving adequate nutrition can cause a variety of effects. These effects include stunted growth, diminished cognitive abilities, becoming more vulnerable to diseases and infections. These nutritional complications remain critical factors in developing children and infant deaths worldwide. Predominantly the issue of nutrition is experienced in poverty stricken countries, making it a key topic when concerning how to support impoverished regions. Many ideas around the world have been spoken about globally. Some ideas require nutrition labels on food packages or vitamin additives to food. The issues with these ideas are that about a seventh of the world suffers from no electricity and do not have access to supermarkets with these “labels” and cannot afford to purchase “fortified” foods to support their families. Ideas must be sparked by influential global powers regarding how to support the less fortunate population in the world that experiences poverty and does not receive substantial assistance.
Fiji does not suffer as greatly as some other countries, but they still have a 28% population below the poverty line. 98.6 percent of citizens of Fiji have access to electricity. Fiji is extremely active in the prevention of child malnutrition. They have implemented multiple Programs and actions with WHO in their country. These actions have decreased the percent of malnourished children in Fiji significantly. Some past programs include FPAN (or Fiji Plan of Action for Nutrition). FPAN was initiated and published in 2010 and lasted for 4 years. This plan calls on NGOs to be active in participation of nutritional programmes, establishes a base for agricultural research on disaster preparedness and healthy crop production. Promotion for child nutrition is also encouraged at school in Fiji. The last goal of FPAN is to improve availability of nutritious food and increase land for agricultural purposes.
To resolve these global issues, countries and NGOs around the world must work together. They will be requested to start producing more nutritious foods. This could be encouraged using an incentive program. Having a larger number of nutritious foods on the food market increase will cause prices of those nourishing foods to decrease. It will also aid in developing a culture where eating healthy is encouraged resulting in parents supplying their children better foods. In addition the promotion of “healthy eating” though increased media time is crucial. Media outlets could include magazines, tv commercials, and posters. WHO could also possibly create a programme where less wealthy countries child population can consistently and effectively distribute vitamin rich foods. These foods would go to children who live in households that cannot afford “healthy” foods. This will fix the issues of poverty stricken countries young population not having a choice on nutrition, where they receive food that their parents provide.
- Kyle Ritenour