Poor nutrition or malnutrition is an increasing health issue in every growing child all around the world. In developing countries, poor nutrition among school children creates a major health concern. The study on poor nutrition among school children in 2015 shows that nearly 159 million children between the age of 5 to 18 are stunted due to poor nutrition.
What Is Poor Nutrition?
The term poor nutrition or malnutrition refers to the deficiency which occurs when your body doesn’t get enough nutrients and energy. There are many factors that contribute to malnutrition which include poor nutritional foods, infections, inadequate food intake, psychosocial deprivation, lack of hygiene, and a genetic disorder.
Symptoms of Poor Nutrition
The main symptom of poor nutrition is unintended weight loss or reduced height growth, but there are some exceptional cases where poor nutrition affected children can be normal in weight and overweight or obese. The following are the common symptoms of poor nutrition.
- Reduced appetite
- Lack of interest in food and drink
- Feeling tired all the time
- Feeling weaker or low energy level
- Getting ill often and taking a long time to recover
- Wounds taking a long time to heal
- Poor concentration
- Feeling cold most of the time
- Low mood or depression
Reason for Poor Nutrition among School Children
Poor nutrition caused in school children is mainly due to three major reasons: food, care, and health. Children who face short stature in school-age are likely to suffer from inadequate nutrition since their birth. Malnourished children are shorter in height and lighter in weight than their normal age.
Stunting and wasting are seen widely among school children in developing countries. Stunting refers to children who are too short for their age and it is caused by insufficient nutrition intake for the long term and also due to some infections. Wasting refers to low weight for their actual height or severe weight loss under the age of five which is caused due to a shortage of food or an underlying disease.
High levels of stunting lead to long-term paucity in mental and physical development. Without adequate nutrients, the brain cannot function properly which results in long-term effects on learning, and malnutrition causes children to be more susceptible to illness. Poor nutrition might also lead to hospitalization, loss of appetite, dental disorder, organ damage, and prone to infections.
Recovering from poor nutrition is possible, only when the child’s environment is improved to a healthy standard. Changing your dietary supplements and foods can help you to recover from poor nutrition. But at the same time, consuming more nutrition leads to overnutrition. Overnutrition might accelerate obesity in children that increases the risk of pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS). Consuming nutrition-rich foods and Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) can provide nutrition and protect you against various underlying diseases.