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Just under half a million children from the East, Uva, North Central and Central Provinces are suffering from the nutrition related condition of wasting or having a lower weight than prescribed for the height, which coupled with major nutrient deficiencies affects the cognitive development, thus adversely impacting education.

According to Senior Lecturer at the Department of Applied Nutrition of the Faculty of Livestock, Fisheries and Nutrition of the Wayamba University, Dr. Renuka Silva, wasting is extremely high in the Districts of Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Badulla, Monaragala, Polonnaruwa and Kandy (in the tea estates and the rural areas within the said District).
The standards of nutrition among preschoolers (children under the age of five years) is measured using indicators such as adequate height for the given age which if lower means that the child is suffering from stunting or shortness, proper weight for the given age which if lower means that the child is underweight, and the proper weight for the given height which if lower means that the child is suffering from wasting.
Major nutrients include iron, vitamin A and zinc.