Almost half of the children in Fiji are not consuming food from four or five food groups - UNICEF Pacific

Almost half of the children in Fiji are not consuming food from four or five food groups - UNICEF Pacific

By Navitalai Naivalurua
Thursday 03/11/2022
Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF Pacific, Pradiumna Dahal

The Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF Pacific, Pradiumna Dahal says according to the UNICEF report on Child Food Poverty, almost half of the children in Fiji are not consuming food from four or five food groups which has led to food poverty.

Speaking in the panel discussion, Dahal has called on all Government Ministries, the public and the private sector, to develop clear and easy guidelines for having the right healthy food and diet for children.

He says this is something very serious and has led to the triple burden of malnutrition in the Pacific.

He adds this can be controlled through teaching children good eating habits from birth and ensuring that healthy, affordable and a sustainable diet is available for everyone, especially children.

Dahal says under-nutrition is very high in some countries, while micronutrient deficiency, mostly anaemia, is very high in most countries, and overweight and obesity are also growing.

He adds to minimise this, it starts with what we eat.

Dahal says the Government can develop mandatory standards to help consumers choose the right healthy food and diet and also increase taxes on imported products so people can go for local vegetables and fruits.

He says they are working with the Health Ministry in creating awareness on child food poverty.

According to the World Health Organisation, in low and middle income countries today, 2 in 3 children under five or 478 million experience food poverty and these children are not fed the minimum diverse diet they need to grow and develop to their full potential.



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