Thursday January 24, 2019

New campaign to limit children’s calories to 200 per day

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New campaign to limit children's calories to 200 per day
New campaign to limit children's calories to 200 per day. wikimedia commons

London, Jan 2, 2018: Concerned over the high intake of sugar from unhealthy snacks among young children in England, a new campaign has urged parents to limit the intake of calories to just 200 per day by including foods such as malt loaf, low-sugar yoghurt and drinks with no added sugar.

The suggestions from Public Health England (PHE) — a government agency for preventing ill health — are part of their newly launched campaign “Change4Life”.

The Change4Life campaign wants parents to give their children a maximum of two snacks a day containing no more than 100 calories each, not including fruit and vegetables, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The eight-week Change4Life campaign will offer parents money-off vouchers towards items including malt loaf, lower-sugar yoghurt and drinks with no added sugar in some supermarkets.

The offer will also be extended on a range of healthier snacks include packs of chopped vegetables and fruit, sugar-free jelly, and plain rice crackers at selected supermarkets.

According to the PHE’s National Diet and Nutritional Survey, children between the ages of four and 10 consumed 51.2 per cent of their sugar from unhealthy snacks, including biscuits, cakes, pastries, buns, sweets and fizzy and juice drinks.

On average, primary school children have at least three sugary snacks a day, which means they can easily consume three times more sugar than the recommended maximum.

Each year children consume, on average, some 400 biscuits, 120 cakes, buns and pastries, 100 portions of sweets, 70 chocolate bars and ice creams and 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink, the findings revealed.

“If you wander through a supermarket you see many more things being sold as snacks than ever before,” Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, was quoted as saying to the BBC.

“What has changed is kids’ lunch boxes are getting full of snacking products. It leads to a lot of calories for lunch,” Tedstone added.

Tedstone hoped that the campaign would help to “empower” parents to make healthier snacking choices for their children”.

The PHE has previously called on businesses to cut sugar by 20 per cent by 2020, and by five per cent in 2017.

The agency said it had also improved its app that reveals the content of sugar, salt and saturated fat in food and drink.

A sugar tax on the UK soft drinks industry has already been announced and will come into force next April, the report said.

Last month, the health body also urged British men and women to reduce their intake of calories to just 1,600 a day, which included 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner, without drinks, the Daily Mail reported.

For those who follow this, 200 calories in form of snacks can be taken. (IANS)

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Vitamin A Deficiency In Children Reduces Immunity, WHO On Malnutrition

To fight this menace, we need to create sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets and ensure that social protection and nutrition-related education is available to all. 

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Children in the national capital may encounter stunted growth and become more vulnerable to diseases as more than a quarter of them under the age of five are underweight, a National Family Health Survey revealed on Tuesday.

According to data provided by the fourth edition of the survey, 27.3 per cent children in Delhi have an improper age-weight ratio, falling below the World Health Organization (WHO) standard, indicating the lack of nutrition in the diet they take.

“Our children require the best nutrition as they grow faster in this age and need proper nutrition for healthy growth. However, they are also the biggest sufferers due to lack of equal access to nutrition.

“Malnutrition is not just lack of food, it is a combination of factors like insufficient protein, energy and micronutrients, poor care and feeding practices, inadequate health services, frequent infections or disease, and poor water and sanitation.

child
Representational image showing a malnutrition ridden child.

“In the long term, it may impair the child’s physical and mental development,” said Raghuram Mallaiah, Director, Neonatology at New Delhi’s Fortis La Femme.

He added that inadequate nutrition may stunt a child’s growth, deprive him or her of essential vitamins and minerals, and make children more susceptible to infectious diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, measles and can even cause death.

According to the WHO, malnutrition is the single biggest threat to global public health and causes nearly 45 per cent deaths of children aged under five years.

As per reports, malnutrition in children impacts their education as the degree of cognitive impairment is directly related to the severity of stunting and Iron Deficiency Anaemia (IDA).

Stunted children in the first two years of life usually have lower cognitive test scores, delayed enrolment, higher absenteeism and more class repetition compared with non-stunted children.

malnutrition in India
Malnutrition needs an end

Vitamin A deficiency in children reduces immunity and increases the incidence and gravity of infectious diseases that result in increased school absenteeism.

Underweight children are likely to be at a greater risk of premature death due to the negative impacts of undernourishment such as micronutrient deficiencies, poor immunity and susceptibility to infections.

Also Read: Protein Identified Enables New Drugs to Increase ‘Good Cholesterol’ Levels

“To fight this menace, we need to create sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets and ensure that social protection and nutrition-related education is available to all.

“We also need to align our health systems to the nutrition needs of children, ensuring that policies are devised to improve access to nutrition,” Mallaiah said.(IANS)