I chose the public health topic of nutrition or malnutrition. Nutrition is very important because children need the proper amounts and types of food to grow and develop. There are many negative physical and emotional effects of malnutrition. There are children all over the world who aren’t getting enough to eat. Through some research, I learned that this is a big problem in India. India has 40% of the world’s hungry children. There is a problem with low birth weight babies. Every year, 2.5 million children die in India. Over half of these deaths could be avoided if mothers and children were well nourished. As in other developing countries, this problem of malnutrition is a result of extreme poverty, lack of access to health care, safe water, sanitation services and appropriate child feeding and caring practices. For some this is combined with social discrimination, lack of education and gender inequality. The low status of women is apart of the problem because they often don’t have access to the services they need to properly care for their children or make decisions about their health. Mothers are also malnourished with 83% of women in India having an iron deficiency. Malnourished and underweight mothers without access to proper prenatal care are at an increased risk of delivering malnourished babies. Other countries with the highest numbers of malnourished children are Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Nepal. India has a few public programs to help such as Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the Public Distribution System (PDS), but they aren’t enough. They need programs that cover more people across the entire country.
I got my information from this article.
sustainable solutions for ending hunger and poverty
I don’t feel that the information I’ve learned about the malnutrition problem in India will directly affect my work, but it’s always good to know what’s going on in the rest of the world. You never know when there’s a cause or project that you can get involved in and help out in some way even if it’s small. However, I think that learning about what foods are best for children is really important if you are working with them. These are some of the resources I’ve used in the past.
USDA Food Program
Our center uses this and so do many other centers in my area.
Inside the Pyramid.
Breaks down the food pyramid and gives lots of examples of healthy foods to eat.