Does your child have a healthy appetite?
All parents may become concerned or worried if they see a drastic or sudden change in their child’s appetite or eating habits.
What are the consequences of appetite loss?
Children require adequate nutrition to meet their physical as well as mental needs, growth and development. Nutrients are taken in from the foods they eat. Thus if they are not eating, they are not providing their bodies with a sufficient amount of nutrients, and could suffer from malnutrition. In addition, they may have a reduced immunity which can lead to bouts of illness.
Possible reasons for a loss in appetite?
There are many reasons why a child could have a reduced appetite. These include emotional stress and being a fussy eater, amongst others. Children who are fussy eaters usually seem to grow out of their poor appetite. If your child is experiencing emotional stress then it is essential to help him or her resolve these stresses in order for a healthy lifestyle to prevail.
Children may also experience a loss of appetite due to disease/ illness (such as tuberculosis, worm infestations and bacterial infections) or medication. Always chat to your doctor about the side effects of medication before giving any to your child. Anti-cancer, anti-asthmatics, anti-TB as well as medications used in the treatment of attention deficit disorders can reduce appetite.
Seek medical attention
Consult your child’s doctor or paediatrician if you are concerned about his or her appetite or eating habits. It could be a symptom of an underlying condition that may require medical intervention.
Source: Brochure on ‘Loss of Appetite’, by Activo health
While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.