World Health Organization
Child and Infant Nutrition
Kierra Polizzi- FH Northern High School
According to WHO and UNICEF, children should start breastfeeding in as little time as 1 hour after birth and should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months. Disappointingly, only about 40% of infants 0-6 months old are exclusively breastfed. This could lead to the 155 million children under 5 who are stunted and the 52 million who are wasted (according to a study done by WHO in 2016). Overall, 26.4% of people worldwide deal with food insecurity. Meaning not having access to reliable, affordable, and nutritious food. In many countries, less than a fourth of infants meet the criteria of dietary diversity and feeding frequency. Undernutrition is associated with 45% of child deaths. 6-8% of children under the age of 5 are overweight or obese. Once more prevalent for the higher income population, now is becoming a problem for low and middle-class populations, due in part to the higher accessibility of prepackaged, non-produce items.
Canada is roughly even with the rest of the world in child nutrition overall; some things are higher than they should be, and some things are lower. For example: 10.8% of children ages 3-6 are obese in Canada, compared to 6-8 percent worldwide. Unfortunately, only 13.8% of infants in Canada are meeting the suggested time of exclusively breastfeeding. But, Canada does have a better percent of food insecurity at only 12.5% leaving 1.15 million children food insecure.
Canada is part of UNICEF and all that they do for children around the world. Including, working to prevent obesity, eliminating food insecurity, tackling micronutrient deficiencies, and educating and providing resources for breastfeeding. Canada and other donors helped fight malnutrition by providing vitamin A to 350 million children.
Canada fully supports UNICEF and encourages all other countries to help support their fight for children all over the world and at home. Save money for education and resources for children’s nutrition in your own country. Send resources, money, and support to UNICEF and other countries in need of support to ensure the future of children.
- Kierra Polizzi