Tips - Children's diet during school time

Children's diet during school time

Main diseases caused by bad nutritional habits

Suitable eating habits since birth are directly related to the structural and functional formation of the organism. In a high percentage, these problems are a result of the nutritional habits of these years. For this reason and according to scientific evidence, every nutritional excess or deficit will have consequences in the future.  
Malnutrition has two sides: undernourishment and obesity which raise the risk of suffering from chronic diseases at an early age. The signs and symptoms can vary being required to identify them in the corresponding context in order to enable the doctor who knows the child to take the best decision. The following ones are the five diseases to which a child may be exposed due to a poor diet:

1. Anemia

Anemia is an indicator of the existence of low levels of red blood cells in the body. Although there are several factors that affect a child's development, the low consumption of foods containing iron constitutes the main one.

Among the symptoms that a child suffering from anemia may experiment are: irritability, slowness, lack of muscle strength, low eating feeling and headache or dizziness. In addition, the skin of the hand palm turns pale, dry, scaly and the hair becomes dry, opaque and straw.

Nutritional anemia can be treated changing the diet. In any case, a doctor will have to evaluate the severity of the disease and determine if medical treatment is required. An untreated anemia affects child's function and mental development.

2. Diabetes

Obesity represents one of the greater incidence risk factors to suffer from Diabetes type 2. Due to obesity, the pancreas produces less insulin to control sugar levels causing a body malfunction that requires to follow a treatment.

Excessive thirst, tiredness, frequent visits to the toilet with high urine volume and dizziness are among the symptoms which indicate that a child may be suffering from this disease.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that walks with each one to the rest of life and that affects significantly patient’s health and life quality in case of not receiving the corresponding treatment. Diabetes type 2 occurs more and more among children and teenagers. This is linked to the type of diet and lifestyle.

3. Arterial hypertension

Overweighed children are prone to suffer from high blood pressure. Breathing difficulties, visual disturbances, headache, dizziness and fatigue are some of the symptoms. Detecting on time that the child suffers from hypertension is key to avoid that it will become a serious problem, such as, a kidney or cardiovascular disease.

4. Gastritis

Inadequate nutrition can also trigger this disease in children, apart from other causes. Gastritis appears as an inflation of the gastric mucosa and the child may experiment abdominal pain, vomiting, poor appetite and nausea as symptoms, including in more severe cases bleeding vomiting. This digestive disorder is due to the frequent consumption of spicy foods and processed products, eating in not regular times and skipping meals (such as breakfast or dinner).

5. Dental diseases

Children who consume high amounts of bottled drinks, processed foods and sweets are prone to have bad oral health and, especially, to develop cavities and stains on the teeth, the latter due to the added colorings that contain these drinks.


Blog - Descubre tu salud
Dr. Darío Botero Cadavid
EPS Sanitas Children Program Director

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