How Can A Poor Diet Affect Children’s Growth And Development?

There is an old saying that goes as ‘you are what you eat.’ It is right, and our forefathers were not wrong to connect diet with our physical, mental, and emotional health. This is especially true for children. The food, the nutrients, and the eating patterns that children develop early on in their lives can impact their adulthood. The consequences of a poor diet and bad nutrition can have a long-term and often permanent effect on children.

Children need an adequate nutrient intake, including carbs, fats, minerals, vitamins, proteins, and fibers. The inadequate diet will cause nutritional deficiency and gap, leading to complications and affecting their immune system. Parents need to ensure a proper diet for age-appropriate development.

poor diet

What are the possible effects of poor diet on children’s growth and development?

Five effects of poor diet on children include:

1. Brain

Deficiency of Vitamin B1 or Thiamine can lead to a lack of coordination between nerves and muscles. It can lead to depreciating energy levels, weakness, and often depression. Vitamin  B1 can be found in seeds, legumes, and fortified grains. Similarly, Vitamin B9 or Folate enables the production of red blood cells. This vitamin, too, is present in fortified grains, legumes, and leafy vegetables. Deficiency of Vitamin B9 leads to the nerve system’s improper functioning, fatigue, lack of concentration, and depression.

2. Height

A poor diet can lead to height issues in children. When it comes to the healthy growth of bones, nutrients like calcium, collagen, proteins, vitamins, and minerals are the magical nutrients needed for a child to gain a proper increase in height. It’s a well-known fact that nutrition is the cornerstone of an ideal height. Without a well-balanced diet, children may not be provided the fuel needed to thrive and develop properly. In fact, a poor diet can hinder bone growth and height increase as well.

3. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and learning capabilities

Iodine deficiency has been proved to cause about 13.5 points reduction, on average, in  IQ scores. Lower iodine levels can reduce cognitive functions in children. A high in glucose content can lead to a lack of energy and concentration, which negatively influences children’s learning capabilities. A study conducted in 2008 in Florence (Italy) indicates that poor diet among fifth-grade children is the cause of their low performance in literacy assessment. This study also found that these children with poor diets tend to underperform in their classes.

4. Behavior and manner

The nutritional intake has a close association with children’s good behavior and manner. Essential nutrients like amino acids, carbs, good fats, and water are crucial for the brain’s growth frontal lobes. Without a good diet and proper development, there are high chances that children might fail to keep their good manners.

5. Certain illness

Poor nutrition can impact children’s well-being in many ways. It can directly lead to sleep disorders, tiredness, and stress. In the long run, poor nutrition can cause life-long suffering. Some examples are overweight issues, obesity, osteoporosis, high cholesterol, heart diseases, high blood pressure, tooth decay, and more.  The consequences could be cancers, Type-2 diabetes, which might increase the risks of stroke, depression, and more.

Five essential nutrients

These are 5 must-have nutrients for the proper growth and development of children and teenagers:


1. Carbohydrate-rich food directly impacts the brain and stimulates serotonin production, the feel-good hormone.

2. A protein-rich diet is crucial to keep the mind alert and sharp. Since brain cells communicate via chemical messaging, protein is required to produce key neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and tyrosine.

3. Fats like omega-3 are healthy for the mind and body. These fatty acids become an integral part of the cell membranes in the brain, and, therefore, they play a pivotal role in the brain’s normal functions and growth.

4. Vitamins are essential for improving focus and cognitive powers, particularly B group vitamins. Vitamin A is also crucial for the proper growth and development of children. It helps repair bones and tissues and contributes towards the healthy growth of the skin and the eyes. Vitamin C promotes the healthy growth of the connective tissues. Vitamin D helps in activating calcium metabolism.

5. Minerals are vital. Calcium not only helps in the strengthening of bones but also has a crucial role to play in the electrical signal system of the brain. Deficiency in Calcium can lead to conditions like osteoporosis. Zinc and Iron are also essential. Low Zinc levels can lead to poor memory, and Iron deficiency affects the child’s attention span.

Importance of supplements


Indeed, nutrition from fruits, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and dairy products is essential for a child’s growth and development. However, there are nutrient gaps in many cases due to choices, eating habits, and preferences of a child. As such, to fill in those gaps, supplements are recommended. One of the highly recommended brand names is NuBest. NuBest has developed various products for the same purposes – helping children and teenagers grow taller and develop stronger. They are NuBest Tall, NuBest Tall 10+, and NuBest Tall Kids.

  • NuBest Tall is an excellent supplement for children aged five years and above.
  • NuBest Tall 10+ works for children above ten years.
  • NuBest Tall Kids chewable tablets are designed for children aged from 2 to 9.

These products are safe, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Supplementing children with such nutrient-dense capsules can give them a powerful boost to growing stronger and healthier during their precious stage of development.

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