Parental Education and Child Nutrition: Which Way Do We Go?


#NextlevelNigeria, I hope health matters are part of this next level the government is campaigning about because the double burden of malnutrition is weighing on us as a people.
Today’s #HealthMattersWithDrWeyoms is about parental education and malnutrition. When I mention malnutrition is not just restricted to the picture of a very thin, sick looking baby who hasn’t eaten for weeks, I am also picturing a school child who is 7 years old and weighing 40kg and the parents are telling me, “it’s just fat that’s a sign of good food and good parental financial status”. So malnutrition is both the issue of underweight/stunting and overweight/obesity.
Research tells us of the low literacy of parents which can result in poor understanding of their children’s health-related problems and it is associated with malnutrition especially those under five but in my opinion, it affects all children.
It is argued that the educational status of parents influences the nutrition of a child. Some researchers argue that educated mothers with secondary and higher education have well-nourished children than children of uneducated or unemployed mothers. However, another school of thought argues that career mothers work more and are less likely to give attention to their children compared to unemployed mothers. They argue that children with working mothers are sometimes underweight or stunted.
While we face such the challenges of malnutrition in children, I think there’s a need for nutritional parental support as I don’t think we should limit support to the infants and under five even the school children are affected.  So how can parents be supported to help them know about adequate nutrition for their children?
I am open to ideas
I remain Dr Weyoms, you can ask questions.  
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