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    Junk food makes urban kids malnourished

    New Delhi: Kids in urban India may actually be suffering from malnutrition. They may be eating enough but they are certainly not be getting the required amount of vitamins and minerals. CNN-IBN found out why kids from affluent urban families may still be malnourished

    Nine-year old Siddhant's parents were alarmed that his height wasn't increasing as expected for his age. He kept gaining weight instead, to the point of obesity

    An affluent family, a doctor father, and a variety of options for food - it's almost ironic that Siddhant turned out to be suffering from Anemia due to what is called a deficiency in micro-nutrients, those nutrients required by the body in small quantities.

    Deficiency of micronutrients can occur in any healthy-looking child.

    In India, over 50 per cent of healthy looking children are deficient in micronutrients, that is Vitamin A, B2, B12, C as well as iron and trace minerals like iodine and zinc. 69 per cent children under the age of five and over 55 per cent of women are anemic, according to the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau of India.

    Senior Consultant and Paediatrician at Batra Hospital, Dr Sanjeev Bagai says, "The growth of the child id affected. The children are more irritable, less attentive, their performance in school goes down, they look pale, they easily get tire, they attain fatigability, less attention span. Hence, the overall impact is mental, psychological and physical."

    Apart from a bad diet, rich in junk food, other factors that can lead to micronutrient deficiency are a limited diet, inappropriate cooking patterns and even frequent childhood infections.

    The solution is common sense, really something which all parents know. The key is a balanced diet for you and your family. Including fortified foods can also help make sure nutritional requirements are met, like in Siddhant's case.