China issues dietary handbook for kids with growth failure

(Xinhua) 11:22, February 08, 2023

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's National Health Commission (NHC) has issued the latest version of diet and nutrition handbook for children and adolescents with growth retardation.

The handbook aims to improve the nutritional status of Chinese children and adolescents, reduce the growth retardation rate among them, and help them build healthy eating habits and thus develop to their full potential.

Leveraging the advantages of traditional Chinese and Western medicine, the handbook helps incorporate medically beneficial components into a balanced diet for the group, said an official with the NHC.

Growth failure is a kind of chronic malnutrition caused by insufficient intake of proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. A child with such a condition always has a height below the appropriate range for children of the same age, the handbook noted.

According to the 2020 Report on Chinese Residents' Chronic Diseases and Nutrition, the country saw a growth delay in 4.8 percent of children less than six years old and 1.7 percent between six and 17 years old.

China's rural-urban growth disparity had been significant for a long time, and the growth retardation rate for rural areas is two to three times that of cities, the report said.

As one of the major public health issues in China, growth retardation may not only affect Chinese children's physical and mental development, but also lead to a higher incidence of chronic disease after they grow up, according to the handbook.

The handbook offers food intake guidance based on season, location and children's health conditions, and provides Chinese medicated diets that promote appetite and boost digestion, guiding parents, school doctors and primary caregivers to better look after the young ones.

"Ingredients included in the medicated diets are Chinese herbs listed by the NHC that can also be used for food," the commission official said.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Wu Chaolan)


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