Thursday, February 22, 2024 | 12:26 WIB

Stunting preventable from pregnancy onward


(Source: Puspensos Kemensos)

A child who does not grow properly is stunted. “Stunting is failure to grow because of chronic or prolonged malnutrition. A lot of people equate stunting with malnutrition. They are similar, but not the same. To repeat: stunting is caused by prolonged malnutrition, starting from the time of the mother’s pregnancy until the child is 2 years of age (270-730 days of life), while malnutrition is simply insufficiency of the amount of nutrition obtained by the child, no matter how long it takes.” 

To avoid stunting and malnutrition, parents must make sure that the child takes in sufficient consumption of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals every day. They can use the Isi Piringku (“Fill My Plate”) guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health. Basically, you split the plate into three parts. The first part contains rice, potatoes, yams, or other grains and tubers as sources of carbohydrates. Second, vegetables. The third part is split again into two parts: one for animal proteins, the other for fruit. 

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“Malnutrition has negative impact on growth, preventing it from becoming optimal. An important nutrient that needs to be sufficient during the growth period is vitamin D. According to various surveys, 43% of our urban children and 44% of our rural children are deficient in this vitamin, with an average content of less than 30 nmol/L in the blood. Risk factors in vitamin D deficiency include insufficient exposure to sunlight, as well as insufficient consumption of vitamin D sources such as fish or eggs,” dr. Kristin sad. “The body needs to be exposed to early morning sunlight, which generates UV (ultraviolet) rays that transforms pre-vitamin D into vitamin D when it hits the skin. Our body needs this vitamin to metabolize calcium, strengthen our immunity, and improve the transmission of signals from the nerves to the muscles.” (est)


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