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VietNamNews

Child malnutrition still affects millions

Update: October, 11/2013 - 09:42
Viet Nam still has more than 3.2 million malnourished children, making up more than 42 per cent of the total 7.7 million children aged under 5 years old nationwide.— File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam still has more than 3.2 million malnourished children, making up more than 42 per cent of the total 7.7 million children aged under 5 years old nationwide.

"More than 2 million were stunted due to malnutrition, equivalent to 26.7 per cent of the total under-5 children, while around 1.2 million were underweight, making up 16.2 per cent of all under-5 children," said the National Institute of Nutrition's Communication Centre director Trinh Hong Son at a press conference recently.

Son said that the speed of reducing stunting from malnutrition was slower compared to previous years in all localities nationwide.

The country currently still has 21 provinces and cities with stunting rates at above 30 per cent of under -5 children and 17 localities with an underweight rate above 20 per cent.

Central Highland Kon Tum Province was the country's locality with the highest stunting rate at more than 40 per cent.

Son also warned about rapid increase of the obesity rate among children in Viet Nam. The obesity rate in children has increased 5.6 per cent in 2010, nine times the rate in 2000.

Experts said that development of people's height and physique are dependant up to 80 per cent on nutrition, environment and exercise. Therefore, regimes with reasonable nutrition would help children in comprehensive physical development.

A nutrition and development week, entitled "Ensure nutrient security and Food Safety for people's health," will be launched nationwide by the National Institute of Nutrition from October 16 to 23.

The week aims to enhance the community's knowledge and people's awareness on the prevention of malnutrition through the improvement of daily family meals.

During the week, the institute will collaborate with the agriculture and rural development sector to promote knowledge on gardening and husbandry as well as daily nutrition among families, especially those in mountainous, remote and natural disaster-prone areas.

The communication campaign will focus on encouraging people to eat more nutritious food; teaching food safety and hygiene habits; and confronting childrens' malnutrition and obesity prevention issues. —VNS

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