Stating that especially the 0-5 age group is affected by the short stature called stunting, which develops as a result of long-term malnutrition in Turkey, Prof. Dr. Tanju Besler warned. prof. Dr. Besler said, “We know that this problem will continue in the adulthood of the child. We may be faced with the problem of laying the groundwork for some diseases that start in childhood and may exist in the future. They are more confronted with some diseases that we call nutrition-related diseases. These include diabetes and hypertension. There is a tremendous increase in the incidence of infectious diseases,” he said.
WHAT SHOULD THE EXPECTED SIZE BE?
Pointing out that genetic factors are also effective in the height and weight of the child, Tanju Besler said, “The expected height should be calculated as mother’s height plus father’s height minus 13 divided by 2 for girls. It can be done in the form of minus 13 plus 13 in men,” he said.
AT LEAST VISIBLE IN AEGEAN AND MARMARA
Stating that the concept of stunting exists in Turkey, Besler said, “There are countries that face stunting at rates of up to 50 percent among children. Countries like Ethiopia come first. In our last 10-year Development Plan, the target rate to reduce stunting is 7.5 percent. Stunting in Turkey varies according to regions and is around 20 percent on average. The least common Aegean and Marmara Regions. When we go to the East, we are faced with a stunting of up to 22 percent,” he said.
SIDE EFFECTS OF STUNTING CAN BE REDUCED
Stating that the possible side effects of stunting can be reduced, Besler said, “If we can foresee that the child may have some possible problems, it is possible for us to take precautions accordingly. It is possible for us to reduce the effectiveness of stunting, and we can do that with ease. Most importantly, we can give the family the need for adequate and balanced nutrition of children. Childhood follow-up is very important. It is necessary to correct all their eating habits and to look at the family’s eating habits. Nutrition education of families and children is very important.
BREAST MILK IS ALSO IMPORTANT
Stating that concepts related to stunting are encountered more frequently after the first 6 months, Besler said, “We don’t even need to give anything other than breast milk to babies in the first month. These children are less likely to develop diseases in the future. After 6 months, we have to introduce children to food,” he said.
NUTRITIONAL DIVERSITY MUST OCCUR AT 1 YEARS OLD
Besler said, “At the end of 1 year, the child’s diet should sit with the family and should be able to eat all the foods that the parents eat. Food variety should occur at 1 year of age. It should be less than what mom and dad eat. Meat and meat substitutes, milk and dairy products, cereals; It is necessary to reach the point of being able to eat bread, pasta, rice pilaf, vegetables and fruits easily after 1 year.”
Besler drew attention to the inadequacy of consumption of milk and dairy products and said, “Egg consumption, which is a very important source of protein, is very important.”
“CHILDREN SHOULD BE GIVEN NUTRITION EDUCATION”
Emphasizing that giving children the right nutrition habit starts in the family, Besler said, “It should not be expected that a child whose parents are not fed properly in the family should have this habit. When it comes to prohibition, there is usually a special interest. We should not approach children with the concept of prohibition. You have the chance to consume all the nutrients without overdoing it. We need to teach children about foods that should be consumed less,” he said.