Health

Children who are obese but still malnourished


Children who only like to eat a lot of energy-rich foods, anorexia foods rich in micronutrients may be overweight but still malnourished.

Going to the doctor for overweight, the results were diagnosed with malnutrition

Yen Phuong (42 years old, living in Bien Hoa, Dong Nai) said that her baby is 3 years old and weighs 11 kg. When she heard the doctor diagnose the baby with anorexia and malnutrition, she agreed. However, the 9-year-old baby, weighing 52 kg, realized that the baby was overweight, so she took it to the doctor to advise on weight loss for the baby, the doctor diagnosed that the baby was also severely malnourished and needed to eat. drink enough. This left her wondering.

From Quang Nam province to Ho Chi Minh City for nutrition examination, Phuong Thao (36 years old) said that she was surprised when the doctor told her that her child was malnourished, while in recent years her daughter ate a lot, everyone told her that Fat, need to eat less. “After the nutrition examination, the doctor finished the tests, and the child was diagnosed with a rather severe micronutrient deficiency. Parents need to adjust, let the baby lose weight but still have a balanced nutrition to ensure that the child develops properly. , healthy and tall,” Thao said.

The doctor is examining and advising on nutrition for children at Nutrihome. Photo: Nutrihome

Many parents who take their children to be examined for overweight and obesity at Nutrihome Nutrition Clinic System are surprised with the results received from the doctor that the child is suffering from malnutrition. In Vietnam, according to data from the National Institute of Nutrition, the rate of obesity among children is on the rise, especially in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City with more than 50%, Hanoi with 41%.

For obese children, the survey results of the National Institute of Nutrition on the use of nearly 20 essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients showed that most of the nutrient groups did not meet the needs. children, especially vitamin D response is very low, only 17.5%.

Reasons for malnutrition in overweight and obese children

Explaining these cases, excellent doctor, Associate Professor, PhD, Doctor Cao Thi Thu Huong, former Head of Nutrition Department, National Institute of Nutrition, Nutritionist at Nutrihome Nutrition Clinic System Many parents mistakenly believe that only skinny children are anorexic and malnourished. In fact, obese children are a particular form of anorexia, at high risk of severe hidden malnutrition.

Obese children often just like to eat more energy-rich foods (fat, sugar, starch, protein). On the contrary, children often anorexia from foods rich in important micronutrients such as iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins and trace minerals… As a result, the child’s body has excess energy leading to obesity, but the child’s body becomes overweight. deficiencies in essential nutrients, known as latent malnutrition or “hidden hunger”. This can have dire consequences for the child.

According to Dr. Thu Huong, many parents make the mistake of entrusting their children to eat whatever they want, not caring about choosing a balanced food or noting whether their children are deficient or excess in any nutrients. No… In about 90 nutrients necessary for the comprehensive development of children, babies can be deficient in many different nutrients at the same time, especially calcium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, D, B … The prolonged lack of micronutrients will cause children to face risks: slow growth, weakened immune system, susceptibility to diseases including dangerous diseases, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, etc. less flexible, less focused…

Paradoxically, obese children are deficient in micronutrients, and malnutrition is often detected only when children have a comprehensive nutritional examination. Children need to undergo clinical examination, intensive paraclinical indications. Modern tests can maximize the accurate diagnosis of the baby’s nutritional status,” said Dr.

The new generation UPLC high-performance liquid chromatograph system helps determine the lowest concentration of micronutrients in the body (nanogram/ml). From there, determine exactly which micronutrient deficiency children are when compared with standard reference values ​​of the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Ministry of Health.

The UPLC testing system helps to detect micronutrient deficiencies in the body.  Photo: Nutrihome

The UPLC testing system helps to detect micronutrient deficiencies in the body. Photo: Nutrihome

Doctor Thu Huong added that, when correctly diagnosed, the treatment of children with micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition is not too difficult. In the treatment of children with micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition, there are three important principles: children need to be examined individually and intensively; ensure adequate and balanced nutrition for children; help children absorb and consume scientific energy for comprehensive development, without being overweight, obese as well as other diseases.

Currently, many children with anorexia, malnutrition, and micronutrient deficiencies have been successfully treated at Nutrihome. Children will undergo a process of intensive micronutrient concentration determination, body composition measurement combined with direct clinical examination to assess habits, nutritional status, related diseases… Then, The doctor will build a personalized menu, suitable for each indication, pathology, condition, and preferences of the baby. In addition, children are also advised on a scientific exercise regimen to consume appropriate energy, avoid obesity, stimulate children to eat and absorb better.

In fact, many different ways of treating children with micronutrient deficiencies and malnutrition can be applied, but the most important thing is how to help children ensure a balanced nutritional input and output. “This cannot be completely entrusted to children because children are not aware enough, compliance is required. Parents should boldly take their children to a nutritionist, the treatment needs a comprehensive and scientific roadmap.” Dr. Thu Huong emphasized.

Hoai An

Children are obese but still malnourished - 2

In order to help parents recognize and have an effective and safe way to supplement micronutrients for their children, Nutrihome Nutrition Clinic System cooperates with VnExpress to organize an online consultation program “Testing & treating micronutrient deficiency”. care in children”. The program takes place at 8 pm on March 1 on VnExpress fanpage and website, fanpage Nutrihome. Parents can ask questions about the program here.

During the program, all questions of parents will be answered by experts, leading nutritionists such as: TTTT.PGS.BS Cao Thi Thu Huong, MSc.BS Tran Thi Hong Loan.

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