Saturday, June 28, 2014

Do you know about hidden hunger?

Amir 27.6.14 - School award
Amir and his award :)

My 10-year old son Amir recently received an award for obtaining good marks during his last exam, and as a mum, I couldn't be more proud of him.

To ensure that he continues to grow and do well, both mentally and physically, I'm always on the lookout for healthy foods and beverages to include into his daily meals. You see, my son has always been a picky eater, and like many other mums out there, I struggle with getting him to eat right. 

What he does love, however, is chocolate. So when Horlicks introduced their new Horlicks Chocolate, I got excited. If I could serve him Horlicks chocolate for breakfast before he goes to school, he would have more energy to last him through the day. 

But it's not just about ensuring that he has enough "fuel" to get him going in school. I recently learnt about a common condition that's afflicting Malaysian children - hidden hunger, or the lack of certain micronutrients in the body. 

Hidden Hunger & Horlicks Chocolate - Berita Harian-Famili_23 May 14_Pg 6-7
An article about hidden hunger in Berita Harian.

I believe few parents are actually aware of this condition. According to Professor Dr Khor Geok Lin, Professor of Nutrition from the International Medical University Malaysia (IMU), hidden hunger is unlike the hunger that comes from the lack of food. It is a chronic lack of vitamins and minerals that often has no visible warning signs.

The consequences, however, are disastrous, as hidden hunger can lead to poor mental development, poor physical health and productivity. But what causes hidden hunger? This disturbing condition is due to poor dietary habits, such as skipping breakfast, frequent consumption of snacks and fast foods, and low consumption of fruits and vegetables. 

Hidden Hunger & Horlicks Chocolate - The Star-Star2_30 May 14_Pg 6
An article about hidden hunger in The Star.

This, in turn, is associated with deficiencies in micronutrients such as iron, iodine, vitamin A and Vitamin D, which are important for healthy growth and development. You would think that hidden hunger would affect mostly lower income groups, but according to Professor Khor, local studies in Malaysia have shown that even school children in urban areas like KL and PJ have micronutrient deficiencies!

Realising the seriousness of hidden hunger, GlaxoSmithKline (the makers of Horlicks) has developed Horlicks Chocolate. This research-driven drink is packed with 23 essential nutrients, including calcium, protein and multivitamins to help discerning mums support their child's holistic growth

"We want to be tall, sharp, and strong!' says kids at the launch of Horlicks Chocolate, together with (back, left) Katharine Chen, Marketing Director, GSK Consumer Healthcare Malaysia and (back, right) Rachel Ferdinando,Vice President and General Manager, GSK Consumer Healthcare Malaysia and Brunei.

If you're interested to give Horlicks Chocolate a try, look out for it at all supermarkets, hypermarkets and provision stores. It's available in 200g (RM6.50), 400g (RM10.50),1kg (RM21.50) and 2kg (RM42.00) packs or in 3-in-1 sachets (RM10.50) for convenience.

As for me, my family and I are enjoying our first pack of Horlicks Chocolate this Ramadan. I think it makes an ideal energy-giving beverage for sahur.

Though it's mainly for Amir,as a breastfeeding mum I appreciate the energy and nutrients that it gives me too. Even my 66-year old mum enjoys it, after all she needs an energy boost now and then to play with her new grandson - my 2-month old baby Arif!

Need to know more about Horlicks Chocolate? Take a minute to watch this video:


Anonymous said...

Hidden Hunger is really nothing new. It's nice someone recognizes it as something that should be addressed. 60+ years ago as a kid doing slow circles in the kitchen wondering what I wanted my Mom told me I had a hidden hunger. I'm not so sure the chocolate is the answer entirely. There are doctors that specialize in blood tests and such to determine just what nutrients are missing; what a persons metabliosm is doing so that diet can be adjusted to meet the need be it growing up good like a child or weight lifting or running and so forth. Your a good mom to see that and give you boy the diet he needs. - Jerry

Adline Writes said...

Thanks so much for leaving a comment and sharing your thoughts Jerry! Yes, chocolate definitely isn't the answer entirely, but it may be one way for me to get my son to try this drink and provide him these well-needed nutrients in case he's not getting enough. He's such a fussy eater!

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