Evaluation of the factors that contribute to malnutrition in children aged 0-5 years in the province of Gauteng
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Adequate nutrition in early childhood promotes healthy growth and development, and is critically important for a healthy and economically productive population. Poor nutrition (malnutrition) on the other hand contributes to the morbidity and mortality in a population. Whilst undernutrition remains a substantial health problem in the Gauteng Province, over nutrition, causing overweight and obesity in childhood are increasingly common, and contribute to the growing prevalence of non-communicable disease in South Africa. Often under- and over-nutrition coexist in the same community.Child hunger should be reduced by extending the primary school nutrition programme to early childhood development centres. The use of health services such as baby clinics should be encouraged to facilitate health education; and the use of the road to health booklet should be promoted for the purposes of growth monitoring, nutrition education and monitoring the overall health status of the child. Such health promotion and education interventions will reduce both under- and over nutrition amongst children in Gauteng. They will thereby reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with undernutrition; as well as the future burden on noncommunicable