Children and adolescents living in children’s homes in sub-Saharan Africa are particularly vulnerable to undersupply of micronutrients. Up to now, hardly any data was available. This gap is now filled with the investigation of a Ugandan-Norwegian research group. In five Ugandan children’s homes, they recorded the nutritional and anthropometric data of 44 girls aged between 10 and 19 years and compared them with the data of 27 adolescents living in boarding schools. Almost one in five teenagers (18.6 % each) suffered from stunting and overweight in children’s homes. The girls lacked particularly the vitamins A, B12, C, D, E and calcium. They also consumed too few essential fatty acids. Their diet was one-sided with an average score of 3 out of 9 food groups; especially animal-based food was rarely available. The study confirmed the assumption that dietary habits in children’s homes promote nutrient deficiencies. Since health restrictions due to micronutrient deficiencies are passed on to future generations through mothers, support for the children’s homes is much-needed.
T Berg et al. Nutritional status among adolescent girls in children’s homes: Anthropometry and dietary patterns. Clin Nutr. 2017 Mar 25. pii: S0261-5614(17)30111-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2017.03.020. Available via: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28389119