Friday April 10, 2020

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

Vitamin-D Rich Food May Be Good For Your Heart Health

The research from Harokopio University was conducted during 2001-2012 and included 1,514 men and 1,528 women from the greater Athens area, in Greece  

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Vitamin-D
People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Pixabay

Want to live longer with a healthy heart? Start consuming vitamin D-rich food as researchers have found that consuming foods high in vitamin D can have heart-protective effects.

Vitamin D is a nutrient found in some foods that is needed for health and to maintain strong bones. It does so by helping the body absorb calcium (one of bone’s main building blocks) from food and supplements.

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Some food items that are high in vitamin D are salmon fish, herring and sardines, cheese, cod liver oil, canned tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified foods. People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

The current study, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, aimed to evaluate the association between dietary vitamin D intake and 10-year first fatal or nonfatal cardiovascular disease (CVD), conventional CVD risk factors and surrogate markers related to inflammation, coagulation, insulin resistance, liver and renal function.

The research from Harokopio University was conducted during 2001-2012 and included 1,514 men and 1,528 women from the greater Athens area, in Greece.

Heart
Want to live longer with a healthy heart? Start consuming vitamin D-rich food as researchers have found that consuming foods high in vitamin D can have heart-protective effects. Pixabay

Want to live longer with a healthy heart? Start consuming vitamin D-rich food as researchers have found that consuming foods high in vitamin D can have heart-protective effects. PixabayAccording to the researchers, dietary assessment was based on a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire.

Daily intake of vitamin D was calculated using a standardised food database.

ALSO READ: Newborns in China Experience Mild Symptoms of Novel Coronavirus Disease: Study

The research found that in the lowest, middle, and highest categories of vitamin D intake, cardiovascular events (such as heart attacks and strokes) occurred in 24 per cent, 17 per cent, and 12 per cent of men and 14 per cent, 10 per cent, and 11 per cent of women.

In contrast with vitamin D supplementation trials that have shown modest to neutral beneficial effects on heart health, this study revealed that increased vitamin D intake from food sources may protect against heart-related problems, especially in men. (IANS)