Padang, West Sumatra (ANTARA) - The cause of stunting in children in urban areas lies in poor parenting patterns instead of a lack of nutritious intake, according to the National Population and Family Planning Board (BKKBN).

"We see that generally, in urban areas, people have better economy, and they are capable of buying the necessary nutritional intake, but turns out that their children have stunted growth. This is a peculiar problem," Deputy for Population Control at the BKKBN Bonivasius Prasetya said after a visit to Bukit Karan Family Planning Village in Padang on Saturday.

In urban areas, parents are busy with their work and their children are left with their grandparents or nannies. The parents seem to always want things instantly, hence they feed their children instant noodles, he pointed out.

"The tendency for instant things is wrong and impacts the children, thus their parenting method is not right," he said.

Parents need to adopt better parenting methods and pay better attention to their children's nutritional needs, such as by providing exclusive breastfeeding as well as proper nutrition, Prasetya added.

Moreover, parents also need to be well-informed about age-wise nutrition needs to prevent children from developing stunted growth, he added.

The case of urban areas is different compared to rural areas, where stunting is caused by difficult financial situations, Prasetya pointed out.

He called for everyone's participation in assisting parents whose children have stunted growth so as to allow them to fulfill their children's nutritional intake. The initiatives implemented to meet the goal include Healthy Kitchen and foster father programs.

"The foster father program is an intervention for stunted children in which their nutritional intake is fulfilled for the next six months, and Healthy Kitchen is to improve the foods in that area (so it can) fulfill the nutritional needs of children with stunted growth," he said.

Prasetya informed that the agency has a limited budget to pursue its stunting reduction program, thus other parties must get involved in the foster father program to support the achievement of its goals.

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Translator: Mario Sofia N, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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