PARENTS: Nestlé products slammed by experts who say they are dangerous for children's health

PARENTS: Nestlé products slammed by experts who say they are dangerous for children's health

A 'Stokvel Mom and Child Forum' led by Nestlé has been cancelled due to concerns from nutritional experts...

PARENTS: Nestlé products slammed by experts who say they are dangerous for children's health

Events that cater for mothers and children are generally looked upon as educational, helpful, and sought out by many parents who are under the impression that they can benefit from the learnings. 

However, a recent Stokvel Mom and Child Forum event that was to be sponsored by Nestlé was cancelled after concerns from Child health and Nutrition experts came to light. The event was meant to take place this past weekend and was consequently cancelled on Friday. 

The event, which was said to be part of a series of events that would target mums and children, and readers of You, Drum and TrueLove magazines, was labelled as dangerous as it sent the message that the products covered in the event are actually dangerous for a child's health. 

"The event was advertised as prominently featuring Nestlé, as well as three of Nestlé’s infant feeding products (Cerelac, Nestum and Nido3+). It is being billed as an online “Free Stokvel Mom and Child Forum” where health professionals and Nestlé brand ambassadors will share information about infant feeding," MSN reports.

The reason behind the health professionals finding issue with the event is linked to the ongoing nutritional status of children in South Africa, which has been a cause of concern for years and this has heightened considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"They point out that in 2016 chronic malnutrition, manifesting as stunting, affected more than a quarter (27%) of children under the age of five in South Africa and in 2018, 11% of children (2.1 million) lived in households that reported child hunger and that survive below the income poverty line. 

"According to Lori Lake of the Children’s Institute at UCT 'even pre-Covid-19, 59% of children (close to 2 in 3) lived below the poverty line, 30% were without water on site, and 21% without adequate sanitation. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, child hunger has increased with 1 in 7 households reporting a child went hungry in April 2021 — and anecdotal reports suggest a rise in cases of severe acute malnutrition'." (MSN)

From what we gather it is not the actual products that are deemed as plain down unhealthy but rather how our communities of mothers, grandmothers, and caregivers prepare these products for children that are of higher concern. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO): "Infant and young child feeding is a key area to improve child survival and promote healthy growth and development. The first 2 years of a child’s life are particularly important, as optimal nutrition during this period lowers morbidity and mortality, reduces the risk of chronic disease, and fosters better development overall. Optimal breastfeeding is so critical that it could save the lives of over 820 000 children under the age of 5 years each year."

And as much as many mothers are not able to breastfeed due to personal reasons, or sometimes choose not to due to circumstances, health experts are making their voices heard because of the fearful statistics when it comes to child nutrition and obesity. 

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