Enriching diets for childhood mental and physical development

Kruger, H.S. ; Labadarios, D.L. ; Dhansay, M.A. (2001)

The original publication is available at http://www.hsag.co.za/

Article

Malnutrition is a public health problem in South Africa, especially among rural black children. Intakes below 67% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) are common for calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, C, D, E, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. Key nutrients for growth and development include calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A, folate and other B-vitamins. Calcium is essential for bone mineralisation during the adolescent growth spurt. Iron deficiency is associated with impaired growth, delayed psychomotor development and impaired immunity. Zinc is associated with normal growth, bone mineralisation and neuropsychological function. Vitamin A is essential for normal growth, eyesight and immunity. Folate is necessary for the development of new cells, especially during phases of accelerated growth. Other B-vitamins are linked to a variety of behavioural and cognitive outcomes. Factors compromising the nutritional status of children include amongst others, an inadequate nutrient intake due to poverty, inadequate nutrition education, diarrhoeal diseases, teenage dieting and allergies. To ensure optimal growth and development, strict diets should be discouraged and sound meal patterns should be encouraged, including starting the day with breakfast, and eating a variety of foods to ensure adequate intakes of nutrients and fibre. Regular physical activity promotes a healthy body weight and normal bone mineralisation.

Wanvoeding is ‘n openbare gesondheidsprobleem in Suid-Afrika, veral onder plattelandse swart kinders. Mikronutriënt innames laer as 67% van die Aanbevole Dieettoelae (ADT) is algemeen vir kalsium, yster, sink, selenium, vitamien A, C, D, E, riboflavien, niasien en vitamien B6. Belangrike nutriënte vir groei en ontwikkeling sluit kalsium, yster, sink, vitamien A, folaat en ander B-vitamiene in. Kalsium is essensieel vir beenmineralisering tydens die adolessente snelgroeifase. Ystertekort word met belemmerde groei geassosieer, asook met vertraagde psigomotoriese ontwikkeling en verswakte immuniteit. Sink word met normale groei, beenmineralisering en neuropsigologiese funksie geassosieer. Vitamien A is essensieel vir normale groei, sig en immuniteit. Folaat is nodig vir die ontwikkeling van nuwe selle, veral tydens fases van versnelde groei. Ander B-vitamiene speel ‘n rol in ‘n verskeidenheid gedrags- en kognitiewefunksies. Faktore wat die voedingstatus en gesondheid van kinders kan benadeel, sluit ‘n onvoldoende nutriëntinname as gevolg van onder andere, armoede, onvoldoende voedingsvoorligting, diaree, tienerdiëte en allergieë in. Om optimale groei en ontwikkeling te verseker, moet streng diëte en oorslaan van maaltye ontmoedig word en ‘n gebalanseerde maaltydpatroon gevestig word. Ontbyt moet gereeld geëet word, tesame met ‘n verskeidenheid voedselsoorte, om voldoende innames van nutriënte en vesel te verseker. Gereelde fisiese aktiwiteit bevorder ‘n gesonde liggaamsgewig en normale beenmineralisering.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/19488
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