Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom faces double threat in child nutrition

Kingdom faces double threat in child nutrition

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Health Ministry officials launch food-based dietary guidelines for school children in the Kingdom on Monday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Kingdom faces double threat in child nutrition

While Cambodia has long struggled with child malnutrition, the Kingdom is also starting to feel some of the same health burdens developed nations are facing, such as obesity and other diet-related noncommunicable diseases, which the government hopes to address with a new health class curriculum on balanced diets.

The ministries of health and education on Monday announced a new set of guidelines that will be incorporated in the curricula for primary and secondary schools. Students will learn about the food pyramid, balanced diets and tracking their growth.

A working group tasked with developing the guidelines surveyed more than 2,000 students across the country. The survey found 33 percent were stunted, 15 percent were wasted and 35 percent were underweight. However, the summary notes that an “important issue to consider is that children who are stunted are at risk of becoming overweight and obese later in life”.

“Cambodia is experiencing the double-burden of malnutrition,” said Yumiko Minami, country representative for the Foundation for International Development/Relief. “Over nutrition [overweight, obesity] among children in Cambodia is increasing like neighbouring countries . . . while under-nutrition among children . . . is still a big issue.”

Chay Kimsotheavy, director of the Ministry of Education’s Department of Health Education, said the ministry will start training teachers next year and will implement the guidelines in 2019.

It is unknown how many teachers will be trained and how much it will cost to implement the guidelines, though a “challenge is unavoidable”, Kimsotheavy said, noting that the ministry needed more personnel, as well as financial and technical support.

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • State of emergency on table amid pandemic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, his deputy prime ministers and legal team will meet on Tuesday to review the draft law on declaring a state of emergency, as Covid-19 cases rose to 107 in the Kingdom on Monday. Speaking at a press conference after a parliament meeting

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 people have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly nearly 200 passengers out of Cambodia. The petition is targeted at 15,000 people. Most of the passengers are British nationals, who are stranded in Cambodia after airlines cancelled

  • Many in limbo as tension heightens

    As the Kingdom restricts travel and prepares for a state of emergency, some foreigners in Cambodia are scrambling for a way home. Foreign embassies in Phnom Penh are making efforts to get their citizens out, but cancelled flights have become common due to the coronavirus

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman