Aug 19, 2019 | Updated: 12:01 PM EDT

Doctors Urged to Fight Kids Malnutrition

Oct 25, 2015 09:16 PM EDT

Malnourished kid
(Photo : Reuters) a six-month-old malnourished boy, lies in a bed at a hospital

Malnutrition is considered a major problem of paediatricians in the United States. Most cases are undiagnosed because parents failed to report their child's current situation and living condition. This problem is alarming to every doctor, since they cannot fully assess a child's medical history as there is a lack of it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urged doctors and paediatricians to test and screen every patient for malnutrition properly. And in cases where the patient is found positive, proper guidance and support must be provided.

Parents should also be referred to an institution that can give proper food and health care to their children as the U.S. have different agencies that can support them. One good example of such agencies is SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which offers assistance to a lot of deserving patients, mostly poor families that are unable to provide the basic needs and food for their children.

SNAP also provides community assistance and promotes economic benefits in every community under its foundation. The agency is not a standalone organization, it is made up of a lot of agencies that focuses on helping in the eradication of malnutrition in the country.

AAP reported that more than 15 million American children live in hunger. "The health effects of hunger on children are pervasive and long-lasting," Dr. Sarah Jane Schwarzenberg co-author of the new policy written for  the American Academy of Pediatrics said. "Which is why our new policy urges pediatricians to take action in and outside of the clinic to conquer food insecurity and promote child health." 

The report shows that children living in hunger are more prone to diseases. And in the case of adolescent boys the risk is high in getting lower bone density. Not only are they physically weak, but their mental and emotional health is also in jeopardy due to the lack of nutritional intake.

The policy was announced and publish last Oct. 23 in the journal Pediatrics.

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