Tuesday March 31, 2020

Access To Vaccination May Be Helpful in Preventing Birth Defects, Says WHO

Early interventions can be life-changing for children with disorders that put them at risk of physical, intellectual, visual or auditory disabilities, as well as for children with defects that have a functional impact

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WHO
Across WHO's South-East Asia Region which includes India, vaccine against rubella, a disease that can cause several birth defects, is now included in national immunisation programmes. Wikimedia Commons

To prevent birth defects, health authorities should ensure all women and girls have access to vaccination throughout their lives, as well as good quality antenatal care, said a top World Health Organization (WHO) official on Tuesday.

Across WHO’s South-East Asia Region which includes India, vaccine against rubella, a disease that can cause several birth defects, is now included in national immunisation programmes.

Though all countries in the region provide routine rubella vaccination, the average coverage is 83 per cent, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said in a statement.

“Achieving full coverage will have a substantial impact on the incidence of birth defects caused by congenital rubella syndrome,” she said. Every year, eight million children globally are estimated to be born with a birth defect. The most serious defects include heart defects, neural tube defects and Down syndrome.

Birth defects are responsible for the death of an estimated 3 lakh newborns annually, 90,000 of them in the South-East Asia Region. The mortality and life-long disability birth defects can disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries.

Services that provide micronutrient supplementation can help pregnant women nourish their foetus, while healthy lifestyle counselling can help them avoid harmful products such as tobacco and alcohol, Singh said on the occasion of World Birth Defects Day on Tuesday.

Vaccination
To prevent birth defects, health authorities should ensure all women and girls have access to vaccination throughout their lives, as well as good quality antenatal care, said a top World Health Organization (WHO) official on Tuesday. Pixabay

Second, to detect birth defects, health authorities should ensure all families have access to facilities with adequate screening capacity, the WHO official said. Screening before and during pregnancy, including with ultrasound, is vital to detecting birth defects, including major abnormalities.

Neonatal screening can detect common metabolic disorders, in addition to heart defects and other congenital disorders. Early detection is crucial for a child’s life-long health and well-being. Third, to treat birth defects, health authorities should ensure all families have access to appropriate services.

ALSO READ: “I Will Do Whatever Possible To Bring Peace in India”, Says Superstar Rajinikanth

“Early interventions can be life-changing for children with disorders that put them at risk of physical, intellectual, visual or auditory disabilities, as well as for children with defects that have a functional impact,” Singh said. (IANS)

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Most Infants Consume Added Sugar: Study

Is your toddler consuming added sugar?

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infants sugar
A large majority of infants between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume added sugars. Pixabay

Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets; primarily in the form of flavoured yogurts and fruit drinks, a study has found.

A large majority of toddlers between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume these sugars – possibly laying early foundations to unhealthy eating habits, found a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier.

“Our study, which is the first to look at trends in added sugars consumption by infants and toddlers, documents that most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns,” explained lead investigator Kirsten A. Herrick.

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She cited an earlier study that found that 6-year-olds who had consumed any sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) before the age of one were more than twice as likely to consume an SSB at least once a day compared to 6-year-olds who had not consumed any before the age of one.

infants sugar
Most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns. Pixabay

Dr. Herrick noted, “Previous research into the diets of children over two years old associated sugar consumption with the development of cavities, asthma, obesity, elevated blood pressure and altered lipid profiles.”

The findings showed that toddlers consumed about 1 teaspoon of added sugars daily (equivalent to about 2 percent of their daily caloric intake), while toddlers consumed about 6 tsp of sugars (about 8 percent of their daily caloric intake).

The top food sources of added sugars for infants included yogurt, baby snacks and sweets, and sweet bakery products. For toddlers, the top sources included fruit drinks, sweet and baked products, and sugar and candy.

According to Dr. Herrick, parents should be mindful of added sugars levels in the foods chosen when weaning their infants.

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” The transition from a milk-based diet (breast milk and formula) to table foods has an impact on nutrition, taste preference, and eating patterns. More work is needed to understand this critical period.” She recommends discussing which solid foods to introduce during weaning with a child’s healthcare provider.Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets; primarily in the form of flavoured yogurts and fruit drinks, a study has found.

A large majority of infants between 6-11 months (61 percent) and toddlers between 12-23 months of age (98 percent) consume these sugars – possibly laying early foundations to unhealthy eating habits, found a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier.

“Our study, which is the first to look at trends in added sugars consumption by infants and toddlers, documents that most infants and toddlers consume added sugars. This has important public health implications since previous research has shown that eating patterns established early in life shape later eating patterns,” explained lead investigator Kirsten A. Herrick.

She cited an earlier study that found that 6-year-olds who had consumed any sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) before the age of one were more than twice as likely to consume an SSB at least once a day compared to 6-year-olds who had not consumed any before the age of one.

Dr. Herrick noted, “Previous research into the diets of children over two years old associated sugar consumption with the development of cavities, asthma, obesity, elevated blood pressure and altered lipid profiles.”

infants sugar
Nearly two-thirds of infants and almost all toddlers consume added sugars in their average daily diets. Pixabay

The findings showed that infants consumed about 1 teaspoon of added sugars daily (equivalent to about 2 percent of their daily caloric intake), while toddlers consumed about 6 tsp of sugars (about 8 percent of their daily caloric intake).

Please follow NewsGram on Twitter to get updates on the latest news

The top food sources of added sugars for infants included yogurt, baby snacks and sweets, and sweet bakery products. For toddlers, the top sources included fruit drinks, sweet and baked products, and sugar and candy.

According to Dr. Herrick, parents should be mindful of added sugars levels in the foods chosen when weaning their infants.

Also Read- Night-Shift Workers More Prone To Get Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes

” The transition from a milk-based diet (breast milk and formula) to table foods has an impact on nutrition, taste preference, and eating patterns. More work is needed to understand this critical period.” She recommends discussing which solid foods to introduce during weaning with a child’s healthcare provider. (IANS)