Malnutrition can improve as long as people change their eating habits, an expert has said, raising fears that unhealthy foods combined with poor eating habits could cause individuals to become malnourished and sick at a young age.
National nutrition program manager Svay Sary said yesterday that current unbalanced food consumption habits are the reason for malnutrition in the country.
“Foods high in sugar, fat and salt can fill you up, but lack the essential nutrients your body needs. Eating too much of these energy-dense foods puts you at risk for non-communicable diseases like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” she said.
“Dietary diversity is important for everyone, but especially for women of childbearing age who are nutritionally vulnerable. Eat a nutrient-dense diet. Avoid energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods,” she added.
She said changing eating habits from unhealthy food to healthy food will make life more joyful and become physically fit with a strong immune system.
Deputy Director of Helen Keller International, Hon Kroeun, said there are three main factors affecting eating habits in Cambodia.
“First, snack foods are a major problem factor. The ease and accessibility of these foods makes snacking a habit for people to pay less in time and money. However, snacks often lack nutrition and have negative health effects,” he said.
“Research has shown that 55% of children eat snacks; therefore, the consumption of nutritious food is significantly reduced,” Kroeun said.
“Second, research indicates that fast food is another cause of changes in eating habits. Many people are time and economically constrained, making fast food a viable option for busy people rather than cooking. home,” he added.
Kroeun said fast food is often cheaper than home cooking. However, this way of thinking and living has serious long-term health implications. Eating fast food increases the risk of being overweight and developing high blood pressure. It also leads to a lack of nutrition, as fast food is full of unhealthy fats, refined carbs, and empty calories.
“Finally, migration has also been recognized as a factor in changing food habits in Cambodia. Looking at the current migration situation, people have changed their daily diet according to their location and community environment. Adapting to new cuisines would help people assimilate into new communities and countries,” he said.
- Keywords: malnutrition, unhealthy