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Stunting prevention is crucial in achieving Golden Indonesia 2045: Nutritionist

Jakarta Globe - January 26, 2024

Agnes Valentina Christa, Jakarta – In the pursuit of achieving Golden Indonesia 2045, experts emphasize the critical role of stunting prevention in children. Renowned nutritionist Juwalita Surapsari highlights the importance of ensuring a minimum daily milk consumption of 500 milliliters, serving as a vital source of iron for children.

"Choosing the right milk can optimize physical and cognitive growth in children. It can also provide essential nutrients such as iron, vitamin C, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), and fish oil," said Juwalita in the National Nutrition Day seminar themed "The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Growing Up" by Sarihusada in Central Jakarta on Thursday.

Juwalita warned that a lack of iron might hinder children's growth because iron in milk is vital in creating heme compounds in hemoglobin. These compounds carry oxygen throughout the body, ensuring that body cells function optimally and supporting activities like learning and exploration.

Iron helps enzymes form myelin (nerve sheath) and create neurotransmitters. This ensures that information flows smoothly in children's brains, affecting their behavior, learning, and memory.

Despite its advantages, Juwalita is worried that parents frequently ignore the nutrition information on milk packaging, reducing the potential benefits of nutrients for children. She highlighted growth milk as a better choice than UHT milk, emphasizing its well-rounded nutrient content that supports both cognitive and physical development.

Juwalita highlighted the need for a well-rounded diet, encouraging a mix of healthy foods along with milk. She said that following good eating habits is essential for preventing anemia and stunting in children.

Arif Mujahidin, Corporate Communication Director at Sarihusada, said that stunting is a big challenge for reaching the Golden Indonesia 2045 goal. He stressed the value of children's milk, such as SGM Explore, in providing iron, vitamins, and minerals to stop anemia and stunting in kids.

Golden Indonesia 2045 is a long-term plan for Indonesia to become a highly developed and prosperous nation by the year 2045. The vision includes goals for improvements in various areas like the economy, education, healthcare, and infrastructure to ensure the country's growth and success on the world stage.

Arif also raised concerns about the prevalence of anemia in Indonesian children under 5 years old, attributing it to iron deficiency. Indonesia, he noted, ranks among the top five countries in Southeast Asia with the highest prevalence of anemia.

"If not addressed appropriately, iron deficiency could lead to stunting, causing permanent negative impacts on children's brain development," warned Arif.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/lifestyle/stunting-prevention-is-crucial-in-achieving-golden-indonesia-2045-nutritionis