Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Nutrition vital in promoting optimal growth

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India accounts for nearly one-third of the global childhood stunting burden with 40.6 million children stunted under the age of five while globally 149 million children under five years of age were too short for their age as per the World Health Organisation 2022 report.
Stunting has long-term effects on both individuals and societies, including poor cognition and educational achievement, lost productivity and negative impacts on overall health. It can prevent children from reaching their full potential in life. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to a risk of immune deficiencies, compromised cognitive function, behavioral problems, diminished bone health and decreased muscle mass.
Proper nutrition provides the essential building blocks to help children grow, learn, thrive, and meet important milestones. Children need the right amount of macronutrients including proteins, carbohydrates, and fat as well as micronutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and arginine.
Dr Ganesh Kadhe, Medical and Scientific Affairs, Abbott’s Nutrition business said, “Nutritional intervention plays a pivotal role in promoting optimal growth and development. Parents should focus on a balanced nutritional intake consisting of all the macronutrients and micronutrients. Prof. Pedro Alarcon, Pediatric Gastroenterologist said, “Stunting is a condition that needs attention. For parents of fussy eaters, consider using oral nutrition supplements for a well-rounded diet. Understanding the role of nutrition such as that of oral nutrition supplements is essential. Nutritional supplement drinks can either fill nutritional gaps or help increase the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals from foods. It’s like turning up the volume on nutrient absorption, so children’s bodies can make the most of the food they have.”
Protein, vitamins, and minerals are key for a child’s growth, yet sometimes only up to 50 per cent of nutrients, like calcium, iron, and zinc, may get absorbed from the food a child eats. Nutritional supplements can play a dual role, either bridging nutritional gaps or enhancing the absorption of vital vitamins and minerals from regular food consumption, he added.

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