The most recent Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) (2017-18) reports that children in Bangladesh:
- 31% of children under age 5 are stunted (short for their age); 9% are severely stunted
- Among the poorest families (lowest wealth quintile), 40% of children are stunted
- 8% of children percent are wasted (thin for their height)
- 22% of children are underweight
The primary causes of stunting are too few calories, and/or eating foods that lack growth-promoting nutrients.
A malnourished body has a weakened immune system, and is more susceptible to illness.
At the same time, when a child is ill, their body suffers from poor nutrient intake, absorption, and utilization.
Children who are frequently ill cannot attend school regularly.
Girls who were stunted as children are even at risk of complications later in life during pregnancy due to their small size.
In short: It is difficult for a malnourished child to reach their full potential.
Thrive Bangladesh and Philippines, delivers not just calories, but seasonal fruits and vegetables with vitamins and essential micronutrients. We always include a source of protein, such as eggs or peanuts, because we don’t just feed children, we nourish them, so they can thrive!
This post was written by one of Thrive’s amazing board members, Rebecca Arnold. You can find out more about Rebecca and the rest of the team here.
To learn more about nutrition and the food we serve at Thrive go here.