Stunting among Malaysian children below the age of five is on the rise, and it is a public health issue
In fact, a 2019 survey conducted by the Ministry of Health found that 1 in 5 children are stunted¹, a significant increase from previous years.
Why is this so concerning? What can be done in order to prevent stunted growth in children?
Together with PediaSure, we decided to look further into this issue. Watch the full video below for more insight:
Stunting has a direct impact on a child's health growing up
Did you know that when a child has stunted growth, he or she is at risk of poor child development? Stunting could mean slower learning capabilities, leading to poor performance in school, as well as slower social and emotional abilities
It can also lead to the child having poor health, causing a weakened body defense system that is more susceptible to infectious diseases and health problems throughout his or her life.
So, why is stunting so prevalent these days?
It comes down to nutrition. Malaysian children are not getting the right quality and quantity of nutrients required to support their growth. In other words, stunting is a result of malnutrition. Other factors that affect a child's growth include poor maternal health, hygiene, feeding practices, and neglect
Stunting cuts across income levels, ethnicity, as well as rural/city divide. Higher income does not mean better health, as many are not informed on the importance of nutrition and the tracking of their child's growth. A UNICEF study shows that 22% of Malaysia's urban poor experience stunting².
However, stunting is still reversible within the first five years of a child's life, as long as we take advantage of this golden window in a child's growth. But how?
Many are unaware that nutrition contributes up to 80% of a child's development³, especially during the first five years of life. 90% of a child's brain develops during this golden window.
Aside from a balanced diet, child nutritional supplements can also go a long way in contributing to their growth.
For example, PediaSure contains 38 key nutrients that support a child's growth and development
This includes arginine, which triggers the multiplication of cells for growth and bone length, as well as natural vitamin K2 that improves the efficiency of transporting calcium into bone to support stronger bone growth.
PediaSure is scientifically proven to improve a child's appetite in four weeks, promote visible growth in eight weeks, and less sick days in 16 weeks⁴.
It also improves gut health, and addresses picky eating issues with the prebiotics and probiotics within the formula milk.
PediaSure is specially catered for kids who are nutritionally lacking to catch up on growth
Do consult with a local pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child's diet.
Click here for more information on PediaSure.
1. National Health and Morbidity Survey 2019: Factsheet. Available from https://mpaeds.my/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/5.-Fact-Sheet-NHMS-2019-English.pdf. Last accessed 2 July 2020.
2. UNICEF Children Without, 2018
3. Jelenkovic, 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).
4. Huynh DTT et al. 5th International Conference on Nutrition & Growth 2018. Oral nutritional supplementation improved linear growth in Filipino children at nutritional risk
Huynh DTT et al. J Hum Nutr Diet (2015), 28, 623-635, Longitudinal growth and health outcomes in nutritionally at-risk children who received long-term nutritional intervention