Study Reveals 20% Of Malaysian Children Suffer From Stunted Growth. Here's What It Means

Children's height-for-age that are at least two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median are defined as stunted.

Cover image via MIMS Today & Healthline

Did you know that your kids' height is an indicator on whether they're having the proper nutritional intake? :O

Image via UNICEF

If your child appears smaller than most kids their age, there is a possibility they might be suffering from stunted growth. While many believe that genetics play a bigger part in determining a child's height, ¹research has shown that 80% of their growth is determined by their nutritional intake.

The consequences of stunted growth are far more than just a child's height. Children who suffer from this condition may experience low levels of cognitive function, educational performance, and economic productivity in the future. As if this isn't bad enough, there is also an increased risk of falling prey to degenerative diseases such as diabetes.

While this condition is rampant in less developed nations, Malaysia also has many cases of stunted growth among children

Image via Healthline

As much as we'd like to believe that child nutrition is not a problem in Malaysia, the facts say otherwise. In 2019, UNICEF Malaysia found that over 20% of children under the age of five are stunted.

This is actually an increase from previous years, as the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019 showed the number of stunted children under five years old have increased from 17.7% in 2015, to 21.8% in 2019. 

This is a serious issue that every parent or caregiver should take note of when caring for young ones.

Here are the risk factors that contribute to stunted growth:

1. Environmental factors

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This is an underlying cause to stunted growth, as some families have limited access to healthcare, a sanitary environment, and food security due to poverty. Without the availability of high-quality food, this is capable of affecting families in terms of providing a healthy diet for their children.

2. Poor sanitation

Image via Forbes

It is important for children to receive proper sanitation, hygiene, and clean drinking water to prevent stunted growth from occurring. Overlooking this simple yet important factor can be detrimental to your child's health, as diseases such as diarrhea and infections like parasitic intestinal worms can hinder linear growth.

3. Inadequate nutrition

Image via MIMS Today

Stunted growth signifies that your child isn't getting the nutrition they need. Growing children require a nutrient-rich diet for better mental and physical development. It's all about giving them the right kind of food, which contain nutrients such as vitamins, protein, fats, carbs, iron, fibre, and calcium.

Thankfully, stunted growth can still be prevented when children are young

Good sanitation efforts need to be encouraged within the household, starting with you. Start teaching your child good hygiene habits. While this may take a while for them to understand, trust the process. Simple acts such as reminding them to wash their hands with soap and staying clear from contaminated areas can go a long way.

Increased intake of nutritional food will not only prevent stunted growth; it will prevent countless of other chronic conditions. Educate your child on the importance of maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet. Even when it comes to snacks, reduce intake of fast food and junk food, as it contains little to no nutritional value.  

When it comes to consuming nutrient-rich foods, dairy milk is well-known for being packed with essential vitamins and minerals. It plays an important role in children's growth as it helps to make up for the nutrient gaps in their diet.

Image via Dutch Lady

Specially formulated for children between the ages of 1 to 9, DUTCH LADY MaxGro contains a myriad of high-in nutrients (contents high in Protein, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamins A, D3, E, B1, B3, B6, B12, and C). Basically, it is developed to provide your kids with 80% of their daily recommended nutrient intake*!

*80% of daily nutrients: Meeting at least 80% of Malaysia's recommended daily nutrient intake (Malaysian RNI 2017) for selected nutrients such as Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin A, D3, E, K1, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, and C. 

Aside from being rich with key nutrients, DUTCH LADY MaxGro has a flavoursome vanilla taste your kids are sure to enjoy :9

Image via Dutch Lady

This nutritious and delicious milk-based formula dietary drink also contains 9 Essential Amino Acids (9EAA) and DHA, all of which are key nutrients for your child's optimal growth. 9EAA are the building blocks in protein for bone and tissue growth, while DHA helps support brain development.

Large families will also be pleased to know that they don't need to buy separate dietary formulas for their kids, as DUTCH LADY MaxGro is suitable for all children between the ages of 1 to 9. It's nutritious, delicious, AND convenient :D

For more information about DUTCH LADY MaxGro, head over to their website today!

¹Jelenkovic, A. et al. Genetic and environmental influences on height from infancy to early adulthood: An individual-based pooled analysis of 45 twin cohorts. Sci. Rep. 6, 28496; doi: 10.1038/srep28496 (2016)

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