JAKARTA, NNC – Child Endocrinologist, DR Dr Aman Bhakti Pulungan Sp A (K), FAAP said stunting and being short in height are two different conditions.
Dr Aman added that people often misunderstood stunting as simply being short, or even dwarfism.
Indonesia has a target of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030, one of which is reducing stunting and children with short body height. Data shoes that short children amounts to 40 percent or it can be said four of 10 Indonesian children have short stature.
Stunting and having short body height are different, as stunting is caused by chronic malnutrition and chronic disease, while being short can be caused by other systemic diseases, such as hormonal or genetic problems.
"Stunting and being short are not the same. Stunting is its own problem and cannot be translated into other condition. An individual with stunting has a short body, but someone who is short does not necessarily suffer stunting," Aman said at a media gathering of 2018Anak Anak Nasional (HAN) in Jakarta, Thursday (7/27/2018).
According to this stunting researcher, there are many factors that influence the growth and development of children. One of them is growth hormone or Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD).
GHD arises when the child's body is unable to produce enough growth hormone to process the increase size of the body according to their age. This growth hormone helps children to grow taller.
GHD hormone is produced by the pituitary gland, the small gland in the brain. This hormone flows in the bloodstream throughout the body to help people perform their functions in a complex way, especially growth.
"The term stunting refers to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), which generally occurs in children under the age of five. So do not refer stunting as dwarfism. They are different," said Aman.