One form of hunger that is often ignored or overshadowed by hunger related to energy deficits is hidden hunger (HH).
In our world today, hidden hunger (HH) is one of the major nutritional cases fighting the health of most of our future generation children. As malnutrition involves both undernutrition and over nutrition which is also the major problem in most developing countries as many individual consumes foods that does not add nutritional value to their health.
The word HH does not present itself by the gaunt figure of a human lacking food, but often hides within the figure of an obese individual who consumes substantial quantity of food that are virtually empty of the nutritional quality required to sustain a healthy life.
In this case, hidden hunger can say to be a nutritional deficiency of micronutrients especially of zinc, vitamin A, iron and iodine. This shortage in essential vitamins and mineral can have a long-term irreversible health effects as well as socioeconomic consequences that can erode a person`s well-being and development. By affecting people`s productivity, it can also take a toll on countries economies.
The human body extract about 51 different essential compounds from food which it cannot produce itself through metabolism. among them are Amino acids and micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals trace elements), which exert a direct influence of physical and mental development of human. This micro nutrient deficiency (HH) has caused a lot of disability in children (under five) with clinical symptoms such as scurvy (lack of vitamin c ), rickets (vitamin D deficiency), beriberi ( too little of vitamin B) and pellagra ( deficiency of niacin) the reason hidden hunger is described in terms of a lack of zinc, vitamin A, iron and iodine is simply due to the fact that a deficiency of any of these micronutrients can lead to visible clinical symptoms which affect the most people worldwide.
HH can coexist with adequate or even excessive consumption of dietary energy from macronutrient, such as fatand carbohydrate, and also with overweight/obesity in one person or community. Poor diet, disease, impaired absorption and increased micronutrient needs during certain life stages, such as pregnancy, lactation, and infancy, are among the courses of HH, which may invisibly affect the health and development of a population.
POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO HH
The possible solution to HH include the food- based approaches:
Dietary diversification, which might involve growing more diverse crops in a home garden.
Fortification of commercial foods; and bio-fortification, in which food crops are bred with increased micronutrient content.in a short term, vitamin and mineral supplements can help vulnerable population combathidden hunger, otherwise food-based measures required long-term sustained, and coordinated effect to make a long difference.
To eliminate HH, government must demonstrate political commitment by making fighting it apriority. Transparent accountability systems are needs in order to ensure that investments contribute to public health, while standardized data collection of micronutrient deficiency can build the evidence base on the efficiency and cost effectiveness of food-based solutions.
Ending HH in all its forms is possible, make it a reality.
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