Monday June 24, 2019

Poor Nutritional Knowledge Fuels Malnutrition Among Indonesian Girls

Two in five adolescent girls are thin due to undernutrition

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meghalaya
Meghalayas tough hill terrains that limit field visits, space technology is aiding the selection of areas that are suited for growing and expanding cultivation of boro rice

From fears that eating chicken wings makes it hard to find a husband to beliefs that pineapple jeopardizes fertility, a host of food taboos are fueling malnutrition among Indonesian girls, experts said as they launched an adolescent health drive.

Nutritionists said girls ate very little protein, vegetables or fruit, preferring to fill up with rice and processed snacks which were often sweet or fried.

“Indonesian girls are being left behind when it comes to nutrition,” said Kecia Bertermann of Girl Effect, a non-profit that uses mobile technology to empower girls.

“They don’t understand why their health is important, nor how nutrition is connected to doing well at school, at work or for their futures.”

The U.N. children’s agency UNICEF says Indonesia has some of the world’s most troubling nutrition statistics.

Two in five adolescent girls are thin due to undernutrition, which is a particular concern given many girls begin childbearing in their teens.

Two in every five girl is malnutritioned
Two in every five girl is malnutritioned, Pixabay

Experts said the food taboos were part of a wider system of cultural and social habits leading to poor adolescent nutrition, which could impact girls’ education and opportunities.

One myth is that cucumber stimulates excessive vaginal discharge, another that eating pineapple can prevent girls from conceiving later on or cause miscarriages in pregnant women.

Others believe spicy food can cause appendicitis and make breast milk spicy, oily foods can cause sore throats and peanuts can cause acne, while chicken feet – like chicken wings – can cause girls to struggle finding a husband.

Research by Girl Effect found urban girls ate little or no breakfast, snacked on “empty foods” throughout the day and thought feeling full was the same as being well nourished.

Snacks tended to be carbohydrate-heavy, leaving girls short of protein, vitamins and minerals.

Girl Effect is teaming up with global organization Nutrition International to improve girls’ eating habits via its Springster mobile app, a platform providing interactive content for girls on health and social issues.

If successful, the initiative could be expanded to the Philippines and Nigeria.

nougat
nougat, Pixabay

Experts said Indonesia was a country with “a double burden of malnutrition” with some people stunted and others overweight but also lacking micronutrients.

Marion Roche, a specialist in adolescent health at Nutrition International, said the poor nutritional knowledge among girls was particularly striking given infant nutrition had improved in Indonesia.

Also read: Jacqueline turns nutritionist for her MMA team

“Adolescent girls don’t know what healthy looks like, as health is understood as the absence of illness,” she said. “We need to give them the knowledge to make healthy choices.” (VOA)

Next Story

Like Food, One Constantly Craves New Flavours in Music

"What you put in your mouth has to taste good that’s all. What you put in your ears has to sound good — it’s that simple,” he signed off

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music
Music has long helped people express their emotions and connect with one another. Over the years, medical studies have proved that music has many health benefits. They range from facilitating regular breathing and lifting mood to improving emotional function and motor control. VOA

By Siddhi Jain

Sitar player Purbayan Chatterjee, known for his fusion work with Western and Indian classical music, feels that the art form is very much like food and the Indian classical music is not as rigid as it is thought to be.

For Purbayan, 43, whose sitar playing is rooted in the Senia Maihar gharana’s blend of dhrupad and khayal, Indian classical music is ever-evolving.

“Indian classical music can be compared to a Rubik’s cube made of a gelatinous matrix. There’s a complex structure which sits in the midst of infinite elasticity. Hindustani classical music itself is an amalgam of ancient dhrupad and Persian elements,” Chatterjee told IANS in an email interview.

A disciple of his father Parthapratim Chatterjee, the musician has performed as part of the groups Shastriya Syndicate and Stringstruck.

He also calls himself “truly privileged and humbled” because the instrument of sitar — that has been in the hands of legendary artistes like Pt. Ravishankar, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee and Ustad Vilayat Khan — has chosen him.

“The sitar is my voice. It is an extension of my limbs.”

Asked about the World Music Day that fell on June 21, the young musician said that he’d love to have it pronounced “World-Music Day” since the music of the entire world has only three elements — melody, rhythm and harmony.

thai foods
Thai foods are naturally an excellent source of a multitude of health beneficial sources of food, primarily due to the vast utilization of different vegetables and herbs in almost all their dishes. Pixabay

“The more we respect and recognise that, the more the boundaries will disappear,” he explained.

As far as his future projects are concerned, Purbayan said: “I am currently working on expanding my classical repertoire to include lesser-heard ragas in instrumental music like Lalita-Gauri. I am also recording and shooting in 4K compositions of great masters like Ustad Ali Akbar Khansahib and Pt Nikhil Banerjee.

“Also being put up on my YouTube channel are some collaborations with whiz-kids of today, like Rhythm Shaw, Shikharnaad Qureshi, Jazim Sharma, Sumedha karmahe, Pratibha Singh Baghel, Rickraj and also with Gayathri — my wife who’s a very versatile artist”.

Also Read- Future of The World Lies in Hands of Children, Says Actress Priyanka Chopra

The Kolkata-based instrumentalist, who is also a vocalist and has performed in duet with music director Shankar Mahadevan, was set to perform in an HCL Concert here on Friday, alongside musical artistes Rakesh Chaurasia, Fazal Qureshi and Gino Banks.

Answering a question about his taste in fusion music, Purbayan likened music to food. “As a citizen of a rapidly shrinking global village, one constantly craves new flavours and aromas.

“What you put in your mouth has to taste good that’s all. What you put in your ears has to sound good — it’s that simple,” he signed off. (IANS)