In the modern India , we have improved. We have improved in food imports and exports , food packaging, food marketing, food supplements and we have improved as a consumer. The packaging is so attractive that we can’t resist to buy those stuffs. The amazing facts are our generation alpha are the most smarter generation. They watch kids channel, they know each and every advertisements, they shop in the shopping malls and they can fill the carts with all their stuffs. Parents are amused. If they don’t buy those stuffs , the child will show his best tantrums to annoy the parents .
Earlier the children used to suffer from Protein Energy Malnutrition because there was not enough to eat. Nowadays the children suffer from the same problem because they have surplus products to eat. There is lack of proper food but surplus quantity of readymade foods.
The problem is same as post independence, not only PROTEIN ENERGY MALNUTRITION but MALNUTRITION of vitamin B ,vitamin A ,vitamin C, vitamin D,iron , calcium, minerals.
Malnutrition comprises of both undernutrition or over nutrition.
Effect of malnutrition on our Defence Mechanisms
Children mostly suffer from cold and cough. Antibody formation is low in deficiencies of protein , pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and multiple factors associated with a grossly inadequate diet.
Deficiencies of vitamin A , ascorbic acid , pyridoxine, folic acid , thiamine and riboflavin reduce the activity of phagocytes( cells that protect the body by ingesting bacteria, foreign particles, dead cells).
Deficiencies of vitamin A , B , C and proteins in diet decrease resistance of the tissues to infection by causing pathological changes in epithelial and other cells. The gross epithelial lesions resulting from nutritional deficiencies include metaplastic hyperkeratosis due to lack of vitamin A , dermatitis, cheilosis and angular stomatitis resulting from ariboflavinosis , the characteristic dermatosis and mucosal atrophy of pellagra , spongy gums and subcutaneous haemorrhage of scurvy , atrophy of skin and gastrointestinal mucosa of severe protein deficiency.
Changes in the normal intestinal flora induced by diet can influence susceptibility to some intestinal pathogens.
Lysozyme which can destroy pathogenic microorganisms are excreted in tears and sweat. It can reduce in vitamin A deficiency. Pantothenic acid deficiency reduce the content of properdin (euglobin).
Effect of infection on nutritional status
When a child is sick , there is loss of appetite and dislike and even intolerance to food. Fever increases the basal metabolic rate and the total calorie requirement. A common faulty habit is to avoid milk or dal and to feed starchy food. Gross underfeeding leads to protein calorie malnutrition in children.
Infections leads to negative nitrogen balance due to increased nitrogen excretion in the urine. Negative nitrogen balance occurs in common cold, fever, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, measles, chicken pox , etc. Tonsillitis, staphylococcal abscesses also increase urinary nitrogen. Absorption of protein is affected in diarrhoeal disease. Frequent infection results in continuous protein deficiency.
Blood levels of vitamin A are reduced in several infections. Diarrhoea interfere with the absorption of vitamin B.
Diarrhoeal disease interfere in the absorption of dietary minerals and cause losses of sodium, potassium chloride, calcium and phosphate from the body.
Absorption of fat is also decreased in intestinal infections which provoke diarrhoea.
Reduction of blood glucose levels has been reported in many infections.
Frequent occurence of infectious disease affects adversely the growth rate of children.
The behaviour and learning pattern is also affected due to malnutrition.
Food cannot be substituted for supplements, pills and shakes. Follow a healthy eating pattern with your child to inculcate the habit of healthy eating and to avoid over nutrition and undernutrition. The child should be realised the pros and cons of all the foods. They will definitely understand after all they are generation alpha.