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[Global Conversations] Feed your child for a better tomorrow

In Tanzania, many people simply can't afford to pay more for food, but most of us can. For the majority of Tanzanians there has been a mentality among many people in certain communities that spending more means getting healthy food, but this is not necessarily the case. This has in turn resulted in lack of appropriate nutrition for their children.

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This story was submitted by Fatuma Said by mobile phone from an urban area in Tanzania as part of the Amplify program's Global Conversations project, an effort to extend the reach of the Zero to Five challenge to communities without reliable access to the internet.

The content was submitted in response to the T.V. show Ubongo Kids about Trusted Advisors. It was originally recorded in Swahili and then translated into English and posted by local volunteers.

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What was your first reaction when you heard this skit?
Good food helps build the child. Whenever I need advise, I go to the health servise point.

Is there anyone in your community who might have a different perspective on this topic? What would it be and why?
Yes, there are people with a different perspective, they mostly think that, giving a child proper meals is to spend a lot of money unnecessarily.
This response teaches us that parents should understand that kids with unhealthy eating habits often exhibit a failure to thrive. Childhood is a time of critical growth in which proper nutrition is absolutely necesary. Children who have poor diets are prone to significant short-term and long-term health problems. Children afflicted by sustained poor nutrition are at greater risk of obesity, mental and emotional health problems and failure to thrive academically. Are there any stories in your community or personal stories of your own that also talk about giving children the right nutrition to thrive in the future?

We welcome comments from the OpenIDEO community below. Some of the comments may be translated, recorded and shared with the person who submitted this story.

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Thanks for sharing this perspective! It reminds me a lot of one of the key themes in a paper I read for a class that discusses the hunger and obesity paradox:

This excerpt from the abstract is particularly powerful and important for those of us working in issues related to childhood nutrition:

"Our greatest responsibility as nutrition professionals is to understand the ramifications of poverty, chronic hunger, and food insecurity. Food insecurity is complex, and the paradox is that not only can it lead to undernutrition and recurring hunger, but also to overnutrition, which can lead to overweight and obesity. It is estimated that by the year 2015 noncommunicable diseases associated with overnutrition will surpass undernutrition as the leading causes of death in low-income communities. Therefore, we need to take heed of the double burden of malnutrition caused by poverty, hunger, and food insecurity. Informing current practitioners, educators, and policymakers and passing this information on to future generations of nutrition students is of paramount importance."