Malnourished children reduce intelligence

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Dr. Do Thi Ngoc Diep, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Nutrition Association, on January 6, said that the baby's brain at birth is about 30% of the adult brain weight.

During the first year, the child's brain develops quite quickly. By age one brain weight triples at birth. At two years of age, the young brain is about 80% of the adult brain weight. At six years old, the young brain is equivalent to that of an adult in size, weight, and important structures.

The first years of life are the period when children develop very quickly in height and weight. Theo nghiên cứu INCAP Oriente tại Mỹ, chiều cao lúc ba tuổi quyết định tầm vóc khi trưởng thành. If the child is severely stunted, at three years of age, he is 81.2 cm tall, until he reaches adulthood only reaches 158 cm. Children develop well, three years old 94.5 cm tall, then when adults will be more than 170 cm.

According to Dr. Diep, besides the rapidly increasing rate of overweight and obesity children, malnutrition is still a burden in Vietnam. More than 4 million Vietnamese children under 5 years old are malnourished. "Although the rate of malnourished children has decreased rapidly, the number is still very large, with about 23% of children suffering from stunting," said Dr. Diep.

The rate of micronutrient deficiency in Vietnamese children is still very high. About 30% of children under five years old are iron deficient, 2/3 zinc deficiency, 2/3 iodine deficiency, 50% vitamin D deficiency ...

"Ensuring good nutrition for children to develop physically and intellectually in the first years of life is very important," said Dr. Diep. Of the four factors affecting a person's health, nutrition plays the most important role, followed by environment, genetics and movement.

Doctor Diep analyzed that the cause of a child's nutritional disorder is due to unbalanced diet, loss of disease or increased demand, lack of nutrient absorption, and lack of knowledge about nurturing practices by parents. food and processing, using a variety of industrial foods, personal hygiene and environmental factors ...

Currently, diarrhea is an important cause, accounting for a high proportion of children leading to malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization, each year about 1.7 billion children under diarrhea, of which 500,000 die.

Doctor Diep recommends that pregnant mothers need to eat well and supplement with micronutrients. The newborn needs to be exclusively breastfed for 6 months, it is recommended to prolong the breastfeeding time to 24 months, not to wean before 12 months.

It is important to focus on nutrition for children in the first 1,000 days of life. Choose nutritious foods, milk and dairy products with ingredients to support increased resistance, give children physical activity, get enough sleep, eat well, eat enough meals ...

Le Phuong

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