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Hot Weather Reduces the Child Appetite...Do you agree???

This question was posted the Management of wasting/acute malnutrition forum area and has 0 replies.

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Tammam Ali Mohammed Ahmed

Nutrition Specialist/ Save the Children

Normal user

1 Jul 2015, 07:32

Through my 2 years working experience in the field as Mobile team leader dealing with CMAM services, I found that during hot weather there is prolonged stay of the SAM cases in the program more than expected comparing to that in the cold weather. Prolonged Stay in the program, it does not mean the child is absent frequently so he stays for prolonged time nor the amount of prescribed Plumpy nuts is not adequate. But there is a reason beyond that. Stability of body weight and composition over long periods requires that a person’s energy intake and energy expenditure be balanced. When a person is overfed and energy intake persistently exceeds expenditure, most of the excess energy is stored as fat, and body weight increases; conversely, loss of body mass and starvation occur when energy intake is insufficient to meet the body’s metabolic needs. Normally calories are expended in maintaining normal body temperature. The metabolism of the body simply means all the chemical reactions in all the cells of the body, and the metabolic rate is normally expressed in terms of the rate of heat liberation during chemical reactions. And as we know that heat is the end product of almost all the energy released in the body and this depends on certain circumstances such as hot or cold environment. In cold environment the body tries to break down the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to produce energy "heat".i.e. increase in body basal metabolic rate (BMR). In hot weather where environment temp. reached to more than 38 as in Hodiedah governorate, the child became apathic, not caring of solid food. He is only seen most of the time drinking water (cold water) or other cold liquids. The child even became less mobile as any mild movement may make him/her expend energy so produce heat and sweats repeatedly. It seems that heat, or hot weather negatively affects the child appetite (central action). Add to that the prescribed plumpy nuts sachets are hot so the child refuses to eat unless there is cold water but not as much as in cold weather where the child eats the plumpy nuts with good appetite. Based on the pervious analysis, we should put in consideration the Sphere's standard, stay length less than 6 weeks. This is suggested to increase may be 3 months, the whole SAM program period. And we should also consider our plumpy nuts request, it should be doubled in hot weather for the same analysis.

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