Children's development affected by bird flu
Physical and intellectual development of children
could be affected due to less intake of protein as many families have stopped
eating chicken and eggs because of bird flu fears.
As eggs and chicken meat are an affordable source of protein, many middle
and lower income group families could afford this product, which is important
for growth and development of body and brain.
However, the Financial Express has reported that many people have stopped
consuming these products due to bird flu fears, despite being assured by experts
that consumption is safe after cooking in 80Â°C, and that the elimination of such
proteins could lead to problems in the growth and development of children.
Dr Harun KM Yusuf, professor of Biochemistry Department of Dhaka University
and Adviser of National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme, said minor
children are the most vulnerable for lack of good quality protein - one of the
most important parts of nutrition. He said chicken meat contains the highest
protein of over 25 g per 100 g of meat, and on average, an egg contains around
6.6 g protein.
It is reported that middle and lower income groups do not have finances to
consume cattle meat and other protein-enriched foods regularly due to their high
cost, and have hence depended on chickens and eggs to meet the protein
Prof Yusuf said intake of chicken meat had increased from 4 g in 1995 to
6.85 g in 2005, and eggs from 3.2 g in 1995 to 5.15 g in 2005. "So through the
statistic, we can see it's rising remarkably. But due to bird flu, the
accelerating rate of nourishment can collapse," he apprehended.
However, many nutritionists worldwide argue that there is evidence
that a child's proetein requirements can be met by eating a balanced diet rich
in nuts, seeds, grains and legumes and other protein sources.
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