Almost 10% of Roman children from 6 months to 2 years do not eat healthy food-

The data presented at the conference promoted by the Order of Agronomists and Foresters in the Province of Rome and by the Comitans Foundation: especially with the Covid crisis, children born into poor families are more vulnerable

In a city that all too often wastes food and resources, nearly ten out of a hundred children between the ages of 6 and 23 do not get it at the right time and in the least amount and diversity of food needed for their growth and development. With the closure of canteens in kindergartens and micronides, the pandemic has helped to highlight this figure. Of course, there is also a strong difference between children’s dietary habits according to household income: Children living in wealthy families have a better diet than those living in rural areas and come from poorer families. In particular, 34% of children of parents without financial problems consume more varied foods, while only 15% of those born into families with difficulties do so. poor. While 60% of children from wealthy families reach the minimum frequency of recommended meals compared to 47% in poor families.

The data were presented at the conference “The health of tomorrow’s adults, we write it by feeding today’s children”, promoted by the Order of Agronomists and Foresters of the Province of Rome, and by the Comitans Foundation to take stock of the path research regarding. food and nutrition for the first thousand days of a child’s life. In particular, the impact that food has on children’s psychophysical well-being and growth, and therefore the adults of tomorrow, was highlighted, promoting more sustainable agri-food systems. For example, by 2020, more than 55% of children aged 6-23 months worldwide did not eat protein-rich foods (eggs, meat, fish) regularly, and more than half did not eat vegetables or fruits. The data presented show a lack of food diversification in the first months of children’s lives, which has a significant impact on their growth: The first thousand day project presented at the conference focuses on this important topic. According to preliminary estimates from the National Institute of Statistics in 2020, there are over 2 million families in absolute poverty in Italy, one million more people than the year before. Total families in need increased by 7.7% compared to 2019 (+335,000 units). About 9.4% of the Italian population (5.6 million) have problems meeting basic needs. The increase in poverty pertains to all types of family units, but the incidence increases in direct proportion to the increase in the number of family members. In addition, the data show that the presence of minor children exposes families more to the consequences of the crisis, with an incidence of absolute poverty ranging from 9.2% to 11.6%. The total number of poor children and young people in 2020 reached 1,346,000, 209,000 more than the year before. Due to these additional problems, the quality and quantity of children’s eating habits are expected to deteriorate to under the already inadequate situation before Covid, where only 53% of children between 6 and 23 months received a minimum number of daily meals and adequate food diversity. Presenting their speeches at the conference was Cecilia Bartolucci, chair of the Comitans Foundation, on “The Importance of Nutrition in the First Thousand Days”; Flavio Pezzoli, President of the Order of Agronomists and Forestry Physicians in Rome and the Province, on «Production and Sustainable Distribution of Fruit and Vegetables»; Marco Lucchini from Feba, on “Can the management of profits help us to have more accessible, inclusive and adequate food?”.

29 April 2022 (amendment 29 April 2022 | 20.35)

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