Overweight children an emerging issue in Fiji while acute malnutrition is at a medium level nationally standing at 5%

Overweight children an emerging issue in Fiji while acute malnutrition is at a medium level nationally standing at 5%

By Vijay Narayan
Wednesday 10/08/2022
[Image: File Photo]

Children being overweight is an emerging issue in Fiji as almost 8 percent of children under 5 years surveyed are overweight.

Wasting, or acute malnutrition, is at a medium level nationally standing at 5 percent.

This is based on the Fiji Bureau of Statistics Fiji Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) which was carried out in 2021 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and other government ministries, as part of the Global MICS Programme.

The survey says there are also geographic disparities in the proportion of stunted children in Fiji.

Children under 5 years of age in the Northern Division are almost twice as stunted (12 percent), compared to children in the Western (6 percent) and Central (7 percent) divisions.

The prevalence of wasting among children from the richest households is two times more (8 percent) than that among children from the poorest households (4 percent).

Among the children aged 6 to 23 months, 72 percent receive the recommended minimum number of feeds but 55 percent receive five out of the eight recommended food groups, while only 39 percent of them receive both the minimum diversity of foods and the minimum number of feeds.

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