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  Infant and Young Child Feeding and Nutrition  

Nutrition 鈥 Infant and Young Child Feeding and Nutrition
Feeding is a critical aspect of caring for infants and young children. Appropriate feeding practices stimulate bonding with the caregiver and psycho-social development. They lead to improved nutrition and physical growth, reduced susceptibility to common childhood infections and better resistance to cope with them. Improved health outcomes in young children have long-lasting health effects throughout the life-span, including increased performance and productivity, and reduced risk of certain non-communicable diseases.
The Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development makes significant investments in the promotion and improvement of infant and young child feeding. Activities include the production of technical information, developing feeding recommendations, supporting research and designing training materials.
Work is focusing on the following areas:

Child Feeding and Nutrition ( 2-5 years age )

Malnutrition contributes to more than half of all childhood deaths, although it is rarely listed as the direct cause. For most children, lack of access to food is not the only cause of malnutrition. Poor feeding practices and infection, or a combination of the two, are both major factors of malnutrition. Infection 鈥 particularly frequent or persistent diarrhoea, pneumonia, measles and malaria 鈥 undermines nutritional status. Poor feeding practices, such as inadequate breastfeeding, offering the wrong foods, giving insufficient quantities, and not ensuring that the child gets enough food, contribute to malnutrition.
Malnourished children are, in turn, more vulnerable to disease and the vicious circle is established.
Improved feeding practices to prevent or treat malnutrition could save 800,000 lives per year.
路 Counselling for mothers and caretakers
路 Micronutrient supplements
路 Management of severe malnutrition
Adolescent Nutrition

Adolescence represents a window of opportunity to prepare for a healthy adult life. During adolescence, nutritional problems originating earlier in life can potentially be corrected, in addition to addressing current ones. It is also a timely period to shape and consolidate healthy eating and lifestyle behaviours, thereby preventing or postponing the onset of nutrition-related chronic diseases in adulthood.
As adolescents have a low prevalence of infections such as pneumonia and gastroenteritis compared with younger children, and of chronic disease compared with ageing people, they have generally been given little health and nutrition attention, except for reproductive health concerns. However, there are nutritional issues, which are adolescent-specific, and which call for specific strategies and approaches.
The main issues in adolescent nutrition are:
路 Micronutrient deficiencies (iron deficiency and anaemia)
路 Malnutrition and stunting
路 Obesity and other nutrition-related chronic diseases
路 Adolescents eating patterns and lifestyles
路 Nutrition in relation to early pregnancy

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