Healthy Weight

The ability to maintain a healthy weight is important to overall health status, particularly in combating diseases and conditions. Those who are overweight or obese may be at greater risk for conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Those who are underweight may be at greater risk for malnutrition and stunting. There are a number of factors that may lead to an unhealthy weight including lack of safe places for recreation, work schedules, lack of access to food, emotional wellbeing, and lack of sleep.

Tips for maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle

Choose a support partner in your journey:

  • Spouse
  • Parent
  • Sibling
  • Friend
  • Colleague

Exercise:

  • For adults, aged 19-64 years, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity activity (walking, biking, dancing) per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity per week (jogging, swimming, aerobics)

Adequate intake of safe drinking water:

  • At least 2 liters per day

Sleep:

  • At least 7-9 hours of sleep per night is recommended

Diet:

It is recommended to eat a wide variety of foods including:

  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Dairy products
  • Beans
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Limit alcohol intake and eliminate the intake of drinks containing high amounts of sugar such as soda and juice
  • Limit salt in your diet as it may lead to high blood pressure and heart disease

Lack of adequate nutrition

Malnutrition is the lack of adequate nutrition, either as a result of imbalances, deficiencies, or excesses in a person's intake of food and nutrients. This can be due to eating too little, eating an improper diet, or having a medical condition that results in the body being unable to use food and nutrients. Malnutrition can also refer to over nutrition and obesity and is the condition of being poorly nourished.
In cases of undernutrition, children may show slow growth, failure to thrive, developmental delays, behavioral changes (including decreased attention), and muscle wasting. Symptoms of tiredness, fatigue, slow wound healing, and even loss of appetite may occur.

Various forms of malnutrition

There are 4 broad sub-forms of undernutrition: wasting, stunting, underweight, and deficiencies in vitamins and minerals

  • Low weight-for-height is known as wasting
  • Low height-for-age is known as stunting
  • Children with low weight-for-age are known as underweight

How to avoid malnutrition

  • The best way to prevent malnutrition is to eat a healthy, balanced diet including:
  • Adequate intake of fruit and vegetables
  • Adequate intake of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
  • Minimum dietary diversity (consumption of four or more food items out of seven food groups)
  • It is also important to emphasize timely introduction of nutritious and frequent complementary feeding at six months of age without delay.

Recommended meal frequency to combat malnutrition

Breastfed infants and young children

1.    6-8 months: 2 times per day
2.    9-23 months: 3 times per day

Non-breastfed infants and young children

1.    6-23 months: 4 times per day

Support for malnutrition

  • Attend ANC and PNC and take iron and folic acid supplementation
  • Family care practices at health centres or villages during the monthly growth monitoring to check whether the child is growing well
  • Attend cooking demonstration sessions at village level
  • Attend health centres and receive free micronutrients powder for your child 6 months-2 years

Promotion of best practices for adequate Nutrition

  • Breastfeeding
  • Complimentary feeding
  • Hand washing

Provision of micronutrients for young children

  • Vitamin A supplementation for children 6–59 months of age
  • Micronutrient supplementation for children 6–59 months of age
  • Deworming
  • Iron and folic acid supplementation for pregnant women