Health Experts: Food Claims Fuel Malnutrition among Indonesians
Some Indonesians believe that a woman who eats chicken wings will have a hard time finding a husband. Others claim that by eating the fruit of the pineapple tree, a woman reduces her chances of having a child.
It is because of claims like these that nutrition experts have launched a health campaign in Indonesia. It is aimed at girls and young women who suffer from poor nutrition because of their fear of some foods.
Experts said these food taboos were part of a wider system of cultural and social beliefs that lead to poor nutrition among many adolescents. They warned those traditions could affect girls' education and chances for advancement.
Nutritionists have found that Indonesian girls eat very little protein, vegetables or fruit. Instead, many turn to rice and processed foods.
"Indonesian girls are being left behind when it comes to nutrition," said Kecia Bertermann. She works for Girl Effect, a non-profit group that uses wireless technology to help girls.
"They don't understand why their health is important, or how nutrition is connected to doing well at school, at work or for their futures."
The United Nations children's agency UNICEF says Indonesia has some of the world's worst nutrition numbers in the world.
UNICEF officials say two in five adolescent girls nationwide are thin because of undernutrition. They say this is a problem because many girls begin having children before they are 20.
Research by Girl Effect found that girls in populated areas ate little or nothing early in the day and, later on, ate processed food.
Many believed that feeling full was the same as having a healthy diet. They ate food with heavy carbohydrates, leaving them in need of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Girl Effect is teaming up with a group called Nutrition International to improve girls' diets. Using a mobile app software program, they provide a place where girls can read about health and social issues.
If successful, the campaign could be expanded to other countries, including the Philippines and Nigeria.
Experts said Indonesia was a country with two kinds of malnutrition: some people are extremely small and thin, while others are fat. They say the larger Indonesians may look healthier, but lack important nutrients in their diet.
Marion Roche is a specialist on adolescent health at Nutrition International. She said the poor nutritional knowledge among girls was unusual because nutrition among babies had improved in Indonesia.
"We need to give them the knowledge to make healthy choices," Roche said, adding that many girls believe that healthy means ‘not sick.'
I'm Dorothy Gundy.
1.nutrition experts 营养专家
The nutrition experts are taking another look at how much vitamin D and calcium people should get.
2.social issues 社会问题
She has a sure grasp of social issues such as literacy, poverty and child care.
3.poor nutrition 营养不良
Madagascar saw a big fall in mortality but levels of poor nutrition rose.
4.processed food 加工类食品
They eat more processed food at home and eat out more often.
5.They ate food with heavy carbohydrates, leaving them in need of protein, vitamins and minerals.
in need of 需要
There was damp everywhere and the entire building was in need of rewiring.
I am in need of a loan of a bike for a few weeks.
6.Girl Effect is teaming up with a group called Nutrition International to improve girls' diets.
teaming up with 与...合作
China has been active in teaming up with regional development banks.
The Drama Club is teaming up with the Filmmakers Club.
凯奇雅·贝尔特曼（Kecia Bertermann）称：“印尼女孩在营养摄入方面已经落后了。”贝尔特曼任职于非盈利组织“女孩效应”，这是一家采用无线技术帮助女孩的机构 。
玛丽恩·罗氏（Marion Roche）是“营养国际组织”青少年健康问题的专家。她说，对于女孩来说，缺乏营养不良知识是不寻常的，因为印尼婴儿的营养状况有所改善 。