This health problem is the result of various factors that occurred in the past. These factors include poor nutritional intake, repeated infections with infectious diseases and even parasitic infestations, premature birth, and low birth weight or if a child has an existing serious chronic illness, like congenital heart disease.
This condition of inadequate nutritional intake of children usually does not only occur after he is born, but can begin when he is still in the womb.
Below are two main points that are factors that cause stunting in children.
1. Lack of Nutrition During Pregnancy
According to the World Health Organization or WHO, about 20% of stunting events have occurred while the baby is still in the womb.
This happens when the mother is unable to eat nutritious food during pregnancy, so the fetus does not get the adequate nutrients that it needs to develop fully.
Eventually, the baby’s growth in the womb slows down, and this continues even after birth. Therefore, it is important to meet various important nutrients during pregnancy .
2. Inadequate Nutrition
In addition, this condition can also occur due to inadequate food for toddlers under the age of 2 years, such as inappropriate breastfeeding positions , not being given exclusive breastfeeding , to poor quality complementary foods.
Many theories state that lack of food intake can also be one of the main factors causing stunting. In particular, it is the lack of foods containing protein and minerals (zinc and iron) when children are still toddlers.
Stunting can start as early as when the child is 3 months old. This developmental process gradually begins to slow down when the child is 3 years old.
After that, a child might still visibly continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace compared to their peers.
Additionally, there is a slight difference in how children aged 2-3 and children older than 3 years develop.
In children aged under 2-3 years, the low measurement of the height for age chart can describe the ongoing stunting process. Meanwhile, in children older than that, this condition indicates that the child’s growth failure has indeed occurred.
Learn more about Child Health here.