English | Dzongkha Thursday, May 24, 2018

Poor dietary habit leading cause of Anemia, says nutritional survey

Sonam Pem, Thimphu
May 15, 2018

Poor dietary habit is the leading cause of Anemia in the country, outlines the secondary analysis of the National Nutritional Survey 2015.

It says, if one eats a diet of highly processed food and lacks a balanced nutrient intake in everyday diet, the risk of developing Anemia is high. Eating a well-balanced diet is the best way to prevent the disease.

As indicated in the survey, the prevalence of anemia is 43 per cent in children under five years. Its prevalence among women is 35 per cent while among adolescent girls, it is 31 per cent. However, survey finds that men are less at risk for Anemia.

The World Health Organisation or WHO considers the prevalence of anemia a serious health issue if it is more than 40 per cent. The Senior Programme Officer, Laigden Dzed with the health ministry attributes lack of balanced diet as the main cause of anemia and that is based on the analysis done last year.

“Be it children under five or for adult women, we do not have a diverse diet. Our dietary habit basically is only food groups that give either sugar that is rice or potatoes or small vegetables and less quantity of meat that has high iron content,” he adds.

Anemia is an indicator of both poor nutrition and health. It is a shortage or reduction in the number of red blood cells, which leads to a decrease in the oxygen delivery to the body. When the oxygen level in the body is disturbed, it hampers the body functions.

“When you have this less hemoglobin, then you succumb to becoming tired, you become very susceptible to diseases and then you have low immunity, you have low energy,” explains the Senior Programme Officer, adding: “If pregnant women have Anemia, the probability of having underweight child or sick newborn is high.

Nevertheless, the health ministry has planned various intervention programmes to combat Anemia.  But in the meantime, the ministry advises to add leafy greens, fruits, and meat and poultry products in your diet to stay away from Anemia.

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