DIETARY INTAKE, NUTRITIONAL STATUS AND COGNITIVE PERFORMANCE AMONG FISHERMEN’S CHILDREN: A REVIEW
This paper highlights the dietary intake of fishermen's children, their nutritional status and cognitive performance. It will help to have a reasonable perspective of their dietary intake and their relationship with nutritional status and how it inevitably influences cognitive performance. This is relevant as it can provide the government and health authorities with insights into the execution of an action plan to improve the nutritional status of fishing communities, especially in Malaysia, where possible. A systematic search of the English scholarly papers on this subject was undertaken between 1997 and 2020. A total of 20 studies have been systematically chosen and reviewed. Studies are divided into two groups, based on the type of research conducted. Ten of the retrieved studies looked at dietary intake and nutritional status in fisherman's children, while another ten studies looked at cognitive performance in children and adolescents and the factors that contributed to it. In terms of dietary intake, three studies reported low energy consumption and low carbohydrate intake, one study reported high carbohydrate intake, four studies reported high protein intake, one study reported low fat intake, five studies reported low micronutrient intake (calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C) and two studies reported a high intake of niacin. As far as nutritional status is concerned, six studies recorded that children are stunted/underweight and three studies reported that children are obese/overweight. In comparison, one study recorded high cognitive performance, three studies reported average cognitive performance, and three studies reported poor cognitive performance. In the studies reviewed, it has been shown that there is a positive association between socio-economic status, dietary intake/nutritional status and cognitive performance among children in fishing communities in different regions. There is a need for nutrition education and intervention in these disadvantaged communities.
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