Ending the malnutrition cycle

Jodesz Gavilan
Even in malnutrition, prevention is always better than cure

CYCLE. Malnutrition, if not prevented, can affect generations to come. Screenshot from WFP video

MANILA, Philippines – It is likely that children born to malnourished mothers suffer the same fate.

During pregnancy, a woman needs a great amount of energy and special nutrients to keep her body healthy and ready for the risks that come with child bearing. (READ: ABCs of pregnancy and nutrition

A mother suffering from malnutrition has higher risks of giving birth to an underweight baby who will likely grow into a malnourished child.

The latest National Nutrition Survey (NNS) results show that almost 25% of pregnant Filipino women are nutritionally-at-risk. Meanwhile, the Philippines ranks 5th worldwide with the most cases of low-birthweight infants. (READ: Hungry and pregnant in the Philippines

Malnutrition clearly does not only impact the mother. The effects are passed down to children, creating a cycle of poor nutrition that may go through many generations. 

According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the main goal against malnutrition is not only curing, but preventing it from happening in the first place. Watch the video below:

The cost of preventing malnutrition in children under two years old, or during the “window of opportunity,” is half the cost of treating it.

Sparing a child from malnourishment also saves him from the irreversible diseases that could affect his physical and mental abilities. It is important that a child gets proper nutrients by having a diverse diet during his first two years of life. 

Prevention does not only end the cycle of malnutrition and hunger in children, it also saves the lives of future generations. – Rappler.com 

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.