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Filipino kids are stunted, says report
« on: September 06, 2015, 12:11:47 PM »
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Growing concern: Studies show that the Philippines has the ninth largest proportion of stunted children globally. - AFP

 
The assumption that people from the Philippines are genetically short is no longer true as new evidence shows that they are malnourished.


CHILDREN in the Philippines suffer from “sub-Saharan levels” of malnutrition that stunts growth in a people who have traditionally been considered short because of genetics, a campaign group said last week.

Although economic growth has surged in recent years, chronic malnutrition means the country has more stunted children than Ethiopia or the Republic of Congo, the Save the Children Fund said in its recent report.

“The assumption has always been that Filipinos are just genetically short but what we actually see now are generations of stunted and malnourished children,” said Amado Parawan, the group’s health and nutrition adviser.

About one in three children under five years of age are also stunted, said the charity.

“Sometimes, the families may hide such children out of shame because they cannot feed them,” added Parawan.

“Because “shortness” is considered a racial trait, it is not seen as a serious concern, but stunting is more than just being short, it impacts children’s future because it hinders physical and mental growth,” he said.

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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 12:12:23 PM »
Data collated by Save the Children showed Filipino men were 1.6m tall, one of the shortest in Southeast Asia, he said.

Men in Southeast Asia are on average 1.63m tall , with Singaporean and Thai males the tallest at about 1.71m, Parawan said.

The global average for men is 1.67m, he said.

International studies have showed the Philippines has the ninth largest proportion of stunted children, the group said.

India is the world’s worst affected nation.

Manila’s own surveys in 2014 showed one in 10 Filipino families lived in extreme poverty – defined as earning 41 pesos (RM3.7) or less a day -- said the charity.

One in four Filipino children sometimes skipped meals, and as many as 1.5 million sometimes went a whole day without a single meal, the group said.

“These figures are sub-Saharan Africa levels of malnutrition,” said Ned Olney, Save the Children’s country director, adding that little improvement has been seen in recent years.

He urged the government to implement measures to ensure children are well-fed, especially in the first 1,000 days after birth.

Failure to address malnutrition will lead to many physically and mentally impaired people, hurting economic growth, Olney warned. – AFP



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