|More than 50 per cent of Vietnamese children fail to get enough vitamins or iron in their daily meals, says the National Institute of Nutrition.— Ilustrative image
HA NOI (VNS)-- More than 50 per cent of Vietnamese children fail to get enough vitamins or iron in their daily meals, says the National Institute of Nutrition.
Institute surveys showed the rate of Vietnamese children lacking different kinds of vitamins, namely A, B1, C and D, was higher than the other three countries in the region, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
The surveys on nutrition in Southeast Asia were conducted by the Vietnam Nutrition Association and the Friesland Campina Institute.
Project co-ordinator from the institute Le Nguyen Bao Khanh said the surveys were conducted at the same time in each country to provide a comparison.
They showed the number of children in urban areas lacking vitamins was higher than in rural areas. Girls in urban areas led the list of children lacking vitamins, their rate being 50 per cent.
Khanh said parents should be informed about the importance of vitamins in children's development. Families needed to adjust their habits.
"The most serious consequence is the shortage will affect children's height or lead to rickets," she said.
Nutritionists said the two sources of vitamins were food and sunshine.
Vietnamese people's meals lacked more vitamins than the other three countries and did not meet children's development needs.
Institute director Le Thi Hop said the main source of vitamin D from food was eggs, milk and meat.
Children needed to be given one egg per day whereas adults could have 2-3, she said.
Children under one year old needed exposure to sun, especially in their first three months. -- VNS