By John Agaba
Nutrition experts are worried that the new trend of young mothers preferring to eat junk food is likely to fuel malnutrition as well as maternal and infant mortality.
“We have a problem of young mothers, who think that only fast foods such as sausages and chips are the real food. They don’t know that mothers need body-building foods like beans, peas and cassava,’’ says Dr. Esther Babilekele of the Mwana Mugimu Foundation, Mulago Hospital.
“As a result, more mothers are constantly giving birth to undernourished babies, who are more susceptible to illnesses and infant mortality.’’
Babilekele was speaking at a press briefing at Save the Children offices in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburd, recently.
Quoting the recently-released Uganda Bureau of statistics report, Save the Children country director Barbara Burroughs said: “Every day about 13 women die giving birth and about 106 newborn babies die in their first 28 days of life.
But about 50% of these deaths are a result of poor nutrition, and are preventable.’’
Save the Children’s Hilda Karamagi also urged parents to stop feeding children on junk foods, saying it would breed obesity. “Some children still miss meals, which leads to stunted growth,’’ Karamagi said.