No child should have to go hungry, but sadly, child malnutrition is a problem that persists in many parts of the world. When winter comes, the problem is exacerbated by the fact that food supplies may be scarce and children may have to walk long distances to find food. This can often lead to malnourished children becoming trapped in a cycle of poverty and hunger.
Child malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances in a child’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. The term covers undernutrition (insufficient nutrients), overweight, obesity, and micronutrient deficiencies (deficiencies of vitamins and minerals). It is estimated that globally,162 million children under five years old are stunted (too short for their age), 50 million are wasted (too thin for their height).
Malnourished children often live in crowded conditions without proper sanitation, which makes them more likely to come into contact with illness-causing bacteria and viruses. As a result, it is essential that children who are at risk for malnutrition receive the proper nutrition and medical care to help boost their immune systems. With the right support, these children can stay healthy and avoid the potentially devastating effects of cold-weather illnesses.
Malnourished children are especially vulnerable during winter. They may have to walk long distances in cold weather to find food, which can lead to them suffering from exposure. Additionally, lacking essential nutrients can make it difficult for children to fight off illnesses such as colds and flu. In severe cases, malnutrition can even lead to death.