Is being very short a Filipino genetic trait?
No, not at all.
Many of these “very short and thin” children are actually stunted or are too short for one’s age.
Stunting results from consistent poor nutrition, and its effects can be damaging and permanent. It delays both body and brain development.
Stunted Filipino children
The Philippines ranks 9th in the world for having the most number of stunted children. In fact, 1 in 2 Filipino children is stunted.
In total, around 3.6 million Filipino children are stunted. And 30% of these children are under 5 years old.
They are often sick, tired, and weak. Some also have trouble communicating with others.
Without intervention, stunting may haunt children throughout adulthood – affecting their school performance, as well as future careers.
At worst, these might die young. Stunted children are 4 times more at risk of dying.
Children are a country’s future. If we let down today’s children, what will happen to the Philippines in the years to come?
How to beat stunting?
Stunting is preventable through good nutrition and education.
Good nutrition starts at pregnancy.
Pregnant women should eat healthy; after all, what the mothers eats, the child receives.
Take note that the most dangerous part of a Filipino’s life is the day they’re born. Some babies don’t even make it to their first birthday due to poor nutrition.
Exclusive breastfeeding during a baby’s first 6 months is also vital.
It’s important for parents, teachers, and guardians to know what meals are good for children. Families don’t need to spend extravagantly just to prepare nutritious meals.
To address such issues, Save the Children trains pregnant women, parents, local health workers, and teachers on proper childcare, breastfeeding, nutrition, budgeting and hygiene.
We also have a malnutrition treatment program, which is currently operating in Navotas and Malabon. With your help, we can expand it further to reach more children.
Support our health and malnutrition programs, save lives. Together, we can make sure that no Filipino child has to suffer from stunting ever again.