THE DOUBLE BURDEN OF MALNUTRITION
OVERNUTRITION VERSUS UNDERNUTRITION
In most societies and families today over-nutrition and under-nutrition exist concurrently. This two leads to serious health issues of obesity and malnutrition. A basic case study is a family with an obese father, underfed mother and a malnourished child. This mal-nourishment usually occurs in the child if the mother is not enlightened enough to know what to feed the child with. The mother is also underfed as a result of inappropriate planning of family meals and a lack of nutritious grocery shopping list. Most times inappropriate work schedules and imbalanced house chores interfere with meal times and plans, coupled with income insufficiency particularly in
Struggling households or homes where there is no form or employment or business. Still on our case study, wonder why this occurs in the same household yet the father is obese. Basic explanations like
1) Wives preserve the best meals for their husbands. E.g Daddy gets to eat the biggest protein (Meat) in the soup, and mummy cuts hers into half to share with 3 of the children.
2) Wives preserve the largest food portions for their husbands and leave the smallest for themselves and the children to share reducing the nutritional quality.
3) Some wives don’t have an opinion on household food choices and food budget, so, everyone gets to eat what daddy likes or what daddy buys including the little children who need every form of nutrition possible to grow.
These are not biased examples, these are real life examples. Let’s say the above is for homes struggling with income insufficiency. Let’s look at homes with more than enough incomes using the basic explanations:
1) Wives cook more than enough meal and puts in refrigerator to preserve for a life span of 1 month. Gradually dishing out heavy portions for the family everyday and also 3 times a day. Limiting the family nutrition to what is portioned into the freezer and it’s decreasing nutrition potency. Also adding, un-nutritious extras such as fizzy drinks, sweets and chocolates leading to overweight and illness.
2) Wives throw food away when the freezer food becomes boring and starts to lose its freshness and taste. Leading to massive wastage and unwise income management. Also not restocking and cooking immediately, serving the family junk and fast food recipes from food vendors and other food stores. Leading to unbalanced diets, unhygienic prepared food with unhealthy spices such as sugar to make the food tasty. This leads to cholesterol issues and other non-communicable diseases. Some households even experience extreme food allergies and suffer all kinds of illness including obesity and diabetes.
3) Wives not being able to agree with their husbands on what a breakfast should entail and what a dinner should entail. E.g Dad’s intuition is for children to take tea in the mornings, Mum’s intuition is for the children to take hot chocolate beverages in the mornings. At the end, the family ends up having neither of the two since it causes disagreement. The winner is usually the food budget holder of the family.
4) Wives not diversifying with food recipes and consistently buying the same grocery and cooking the same meals, avoiding certain nutritious variety because of the stress of cooking them or the location of where to find them. Undernutrition is definitely prevalent.
These case studies also apply to our individual lives regardless of income; it’s not restricted to families alone.
Nutritional balance is key as a family or individual. Eat the right portions and give the right portions to the different categories in the family.
Balance your meals with green vegetables, vital proteins like legumes and meat, vitamins, fruits and minerals in water with daily supplements that can provide you iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, calcium and fat & oil. The reward for a thriving health is wealth. Be intentional about it, set healthy goals regardless of status and income.