A recent survey conducted by Pfizer Nutrition highlighted the fact that 47% of Healthcare professionals surveyed agreed that many parents were not aware or knowledgable on the importance of proper nutrition in children. Globally last year over 43 million children under the age of 5 were overweight. The implications of the long term health effects on children in terms of heart disease, strokes,Diabetes,Cancer not to mention learning are truly scary. The report mentions that despite “regular” dialogue, only 17% of parents were very concerned about their child´s nutrition. Considering the current state of global health services, 5-10 minute follow-up sessions and limited resources, it is of no surprise that HCP´s as strapped for time for providing truly personalised nutrition counselling. A recent report by the Royal College of midwives who teamed up with Netmums (2010), highlighted the need for addressing nutrition and weight issues especially amongst obese pregnant mothers for whom there are currently no resources. Whilst nutrition is such an important subject, 73% would have liked the topic to be covered during antenatal classes however only 5% of mother attended those that did. Hmmmm,I wonder where that “regular” contact occurred?
Recent epigenetic studies strongly link the incidence of childhood obesity to maternal obesity prior and during pregnancy as well as low-birthweight and premature births. It therefore seems natural, to me in any case that, the limited resources should be focused on this generation´s obese, young (to-be) mothers who seem to be growing up faster, are constantly on the move and communicate via a lngwich tht i strgle 2 decifr, instead of a generic regular contact approach.
Maybe HCP´s need to change how the message is given or perhaps the large companies can support the development and funding of non-biased nutritional information and feeding practices that support breastfeeding beyond the 3-4 month period (WHO), support and educate young obese mothers and help families understand the importance of good nutrition in early childhood in a language and format that is relevant and current.