September 16, 2019
 In Articles

World Health Organization

Infant and Child Nutrition


Alekya Vudathu

Forest Hills Eastern


In the early stages of a life of an infant, adequate consumption of nutrition is vital. Nonetheless, over 1.5 million children suffer from low height, weight, and obesity due to improper nutrition. On the other hand, individuals in their early stages—who had good nutrition—achieve better outcomes in their adulthood. Malnutrition is at an alarmingly high rate in some countries. A stable infant and child nutrition results in  improved child survival rates and healthy growth development. To alleviate this problem, UNICEF and WHO created courses for training health workers to provide skilled support to breastfeeding mothers, help them overcome problems, and monitor the growth of children. Although the United Nations has done a great deal to improve nutrition, more needs to be done. The UN still must discuss this topic because, even though they have done a great deal to improve Infant and Child Nutrition many countries still have a high malnutrition rate. Finland believes that the UN should improve early diagnosis or recognition of undernutrition to reduce the amount of severity.


Due to high standards of living and a well educated welfare system Finland’s infant and child malnutrition rates are low. The issue is almost non-existent. Finland noticed that the economic status of a country has many effects on children’s mental and physical development. World Food Programmes (WFP) unique role as the United Nations’ frontline agency addresses hunger, where Finland is a prominent donor. Their donations have contributed to malnutrition in Lebanon, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and the Central African Republic. Even though Finland is a 1st world country, data from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) shows that the obesity rate in Finnish adolescents reaches up to 29% for boys and 17% for girls. Their vegetable and fruit intake is lower than average while their salt intake is above average. Finland decided they needed a plan to keep this improper nutrition from escalating and leading to a dire situation. In June 2013, the Finnish Government adopted a “Resolution on development of guidelines for health-enhancing physical activity and nutrition”. The main target is to include reducing the prevalence of obesity and the intake of saturated fat, salt and sugar, and increasing the intake of vegetables and fruit (particularly berries). This way at a young age adolescents can have the habit of proper nutrition and suffer from obesity, health issues, and even heart diseases. To help Infants Finland has improved their breastfeeding rates since 2013. They have offered classes for mothers to be. This has increased the Finnish breast feeding rate from 15% to 95% in the matter of 6 years. 


First, Finland’s proposes that the UN should work with poor rural populations in developing countries to eliminate poverty and hunger. Second, Finland believes that if mothers understood the importance of breastfeeding it would lead to fewer problems in the future. Third, the UN made countries implement mandatory breastfeeding classes, this way mothers would be aware or the consequences. Finland urges the UN to emphasize proper nutrition during the early years of a child’s life. Lastly, another way the malnutrition rates could decrease is if the UN could initiate a project to finance families in utter need of nutrition. Malnutrition should be a prominent issue discussed by the UN.


  • Alekya Vudathu