07/02/2011, 00.00
SRI LANKA

Malnutrition and anemia increases among children in Colombo

Melani Manel Perera
This was revealed by a study by the Medical Research Institute. In the capital alone, long-term malnutrition is 29% (41% in Sri Lanka), short-term 8% (11% in Sri Lanka). In many cases, women use a good part of the family budget in beauty products, instead of healthy food, rich in protein.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - "Malnutrition and anemia are spreading fast and surprisingly the district of Colombo is one of the most affected" states Maithripala Sirisena, Minister of Health. In fact, long term malnutrition in capital is at 29% (41% in Sri Lanka), short-term is 8% (11% in Sri Lanka). In particular, children of school age do not consume nutritious and healthy meals on a daily basis. For this reason, the ministry has asked for a "sudden change in the Sri Lankan way of eating."

A study conducted by the Medical Research Institute (MRI) revealed that the excessive consumption of wheat flour is one of the reasons for the alarming increase in malnutrition in the districts of Colombo and Nuwara Eliya.

The minister adds that in many cases parents force young children to eat foods made from wheat flour, particularly at breakfast, which is the most important meal of their daily diet. This deprives them of nutrients and other healthy foods such as rice, beans, green mung and eye beans, rich in protein.

The study also indicates that women spend a "considerable" sum of their salaries in beauty products. "This is particularly disappointing and alarming, because people who earn as little as Sri Lankans can not afford to squander money in certain things, taking funds from the family budget," said the minister.

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