ANTECEDENTS OF HIDDEN HUNGER
The spectra of micro-nutrient deficiency:
Impedes development of brain
Hampers social and emotional development.
Lowers immunity and hence the ability to fight infections
Prevents the complete realisation of genetic potential for height gain in children
Lack of concentration
Lethargy and tiredness
Let us look at the various factors that can lead to micro-nutrient deficiency in well nourished children from urban pockets. In this case micro-nutrient deficiency cannot be attributed to affordability or availability of food. One of the reasons may be that the children eat a limited portion or variety of food items, also referred to as ‘picky’ eating. Besides, factors like frequent childhood infections may further restrict optimal food intake for meeting nutrient requirement. Inappropriate eating practices, cooking patterns and lifestyle further compound this nutritional insult.
The fat and cholesterol content of the food we consume is much higher than that of essential micro-nutrients. This can be attributed to the lack of a balanced diet. Micro-nutrient deficiency threatens the health of not just children, but people of all age groups.
COMBATING THE MENACE
In today’s environment, every person faces onslaught of junk food, the threat of pollution, unprecedented levels of stress, lack of time and lifestyle-induced diseases. Eating healthy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with moderate exercise, are more critical than ever before.
Improved dietary intake or inclusion of micro-nutrient rich or fortified food will help in meeting nutritional (micro-nutrient) requirements. In accordance with the RDAs, the daily balanced diet of an individual should include adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Two food based strategies, viz diversifying diets and fortification of certain commonly consumed foods can dramatically improve the present condition. Packed foods and supplements can be useful to fortify the diet, provided they are used judiciously.
Micro-nutrient deficiency or ‘hidden hunger’ is a problem that need immediate attention. Bringing about simple changes of diversification and fortification in the dietary pattern and lifestyle modification can help improve the current situation.
News Source: expressbuzz