In Indonesia, Baby Cafes and health volunteers are helping children survive and thrive.
According to a new report by UNICEF, ASEAN and WHO, 12 per cent of children in Indonesia suffer from wasting while a further 12 per cent are overweight. This presents a severe public health challenge. While undernutrition is a major contributing factor to child illness, disability and death, overnutrition in childhood can lead to diet-related non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease in later life.
Changing lifestyles owing to urbanization, a higher participation of women in the workforce and increasing consumption of energy dense processed foods are some factors that have led to a rapid rise in overweight children. However, at the same time we have seen the rise of conditions like obesity, previously associated with high income countries. Asian children are now at risk of malnutrition from both ends of the spectrum.