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Nutrition And Children's Health (Emile KAHOUN, Yadega High School, Ouahigouya)

Staying healthy by eating has long been the goal of sound nutrition. In recent years, studies of children’s health in developing nations have demonstrated conclusively the correction between proper nutrition and good health, between poor nutrition and infectious diseases.
As an example of the interaction between inadequate diet and infection, Dr Cohen, a pediatrician, cited measles which is still a major cause if infant death in many developing countries. He said that in the United States, measles « was just another inconvenience children had to get through ».In Africa, the mortality rate for measles is anywhere from 20 to 50 per cent. When they are malnourished, he added, their bodies are not able to produce the antibodies against the diseases. Their defences are weakened so that those called « minor diseases are devastating.
Dr De Quadros, another pediatrician, said that when children are malnourished, any of the infectious childhood diseases can kill them.
Since malnutrition is a severe disease that exists in many parts of the world, what is the best strategy to make certain that young children receive the nutrients vital to early growth and healthy development? The answer, according to both pediatricians, is breast feeding.
De Quadros says the best the best food a child can have during the first year of life comes from the mother. And he warned against preventing children sucking too early. Dr Cohen agreed, adding that there is nothing wrong with continuing to breastfeed children as long as two years, while gradually introducing grains and other more typical foods during the second year. « Breast feeding is not only the best nutrition, but it also gives the baby antibodies against some of the diseases that are also devastating ».He was referring to the disease fighting proteins from the mother’s body that are transmitted through her milk to her child.

Voice August / September 1989, n°34 p14


To beast feed: nourrir au sein
To suck: téter
The measles : la rougeole


I- Choose the letter that is in front of the correct answer

1)What is the purpose of eating well?

a)to have a big stomach
b)not to be ill
c)to be malnourished
d)to catch an infectious disease.

2)What does malnutrition result in?

a) good health
b)sound nutrition
c)inability to face infectious diseases
d)leaving the victim unable to eat.

3)The mortality rate for measles is

a)as high in Africa as in the U.S.A
b)less high in Africa than in the USA
c)higher in Africa than in the USA
d)not as high in Africa as in the USA.

4)Dr Cohen said that measles is

a)A major cause of infant death in the USA
b)a minor disease in Africa
c)devastating in Africa
d)inexitent in developing countries.

5)For what kind of children is measles serious illness?

a)well-fed children
b)ill-fed children
c)vaccinated children
d)greedy children.

6)Where is malnutrition a major problem ?

a)In Africa only
b)In the USA
c)In every part of the world
d)In several parts of the world.

7)Pediatricians are trained to treat

b)old people

8)Why is the mother’s milk the food for a child according to Dr De Quadros ?

a)because it is cheap
b)because it is devastating
c)because it fights diseases


1)Why does measles kill malnourished children?
2)What are the two advantages of breast feeding a child according to Dr Cohen?
3)Nowadays, childhood diseases are less devastating in developing nations. Tell why ?


A-Fill in the blanks with the correct word
1)Young people enjoy…………to music
a) listened , b) to listen ; c) listening ; d) listen

2) Don’t forget to reply……. Your pen friend’s letter.
a) at , b) with ; c) of ; d) to

3) They prevented the child………crossing the street
a)from , b) of ; c) to ; d) in

4)He wished ………a lot of money
a) he has , b) he had ; c) he will have ; d) he can have

B) Write the verbs in brackets in the correct forms
5)Susan couldn’t help (to sweat)
6)They were made (to dance)

C) Put the adjectives in brackets in the superlative or comparative form
7)April is the (hot) month in my country
8)Moussa finds German (difficult) than English


1)Pour rester en bonne santé, il faut manger différentes sortes d’aliments
2)Si cet enfant avait été nourri au sein, il n’aurait pas été si souvent malade
3)Tu ferais mieux de bien nourrir ton enfant
4)On m’a dit que le lait maternel était le meilleur.

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