Poor Nutrition in Childhood linked with Hearing Loss

Poor Nutrition in Childhood linked with Hearing Loss

Scientists discover poor nutrition is linked with hearing loss

Getting proper nutrition is essential for healthy growth of children. The effects of malnutrition might not appear immediately but they do show up at any stage of your life. This is a serious issue that needs quite a lot of attention as a number of complications are associated with it.

One of them was found out in a recent study which said that adolescents who were undernourished in pre-school years were at least twice more likely to suffer from hearing loss in the coming years than those who were given proper nutrition. The study covered both types of under-nutrition (Acute and Chronic) and it was observed that children suffering from either type could face hearing impairment later in their lives.

Firstly, children with a chronic condition of under-nourishment were twice more likely to have hearing issues. Stunting is a phenomenon when a kid is too short for his age and this process begins even before the birth if the nutrients needed are not available. Time in the womb is extremely important for the development of auditory organs which includes the inner ear.

Under-nutrition in that phase can increase the risk of having hearing problems in the future. Similarly, there was an increase of two folds in hearing loss cases for those participants who were too thin for their age. This is an example of acute malnutrition. This condition makes a child more vulnerable to infections including ear ones. Repeated ear infections ultimately result in hearing loss.

The team consisted of researchers from different places but it was led by some scientists from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They analyzed the relationship between the hearing and the levels of nutrition. 2200 young adults from Nepal were selected and the data about their nutrition level as kids were collected.

The hearing tests of all the selected youngsters were done from 2006 to 2008. The nutrition trial of all these participants was done nearly 16 years before that in Sarlahi District of Nepal. It took place between 1989 and 1991. That provided the necessary information to know about their nutritional status during their years of growth.

The findings of this research yielded extraordinary results. It was observed that providing better nutrition can prove extremely beneficial in dealing with the problem of hearing loss. Nearly 116 million people are being affected by this problem in the region of South Asia alone. Considering the fact that hearing loss is the 4th leading cause of disability in the world, this issue needs instant attention.

It has also been found that 80% of individuals suffering from hearing issues are residents of countries that have low to middle levels of income. South Asia has alarming figures in this regard as about 28% of children and young adults who have hearing impairment belong to this part of the world. The principal investigator of the study, Keith West Jr., who is also a professor of International Health at the Bloomberg School said,

“Our findings should help elevate hearing loss as a still-neglected public health burden, and one that nutrition interventions in early childhood might help prevent. Our findings are not only important for low-resource areas of Nepal, but also for much of South Asia The study site in Nepal is representative of much of the Gangetic region of South Asia. There are over 160 million undernourished children in this region, putting them at high risk for a range of health and developmental problems. We now have evidence that addressing this nutritional burden might also prevent hearing loss later in life.”

After realizing the impact poor nutrition can have on the health of our future generations, we need to take necessary steps. The addition of following elements in the diets of our kids can prove handy in solving this critical issue.


It can help in protecting you from noise-related hearing loss as it neutralizes the effects of free radicals from loud noises. It also keeps sensitive hair cells in the inner ear safe. Spinach, tomatoes, and Potatoes are a good source of Magnesium.


It is an essential component of cell growth, healing wounds and boosting the immune system of the body. This makes your body capable of fighting ear infections. Beef, peanut, and oysters are good sources of Zinc.


It regulates the quantity of fluid in blood and body tissues. It takes care of hearing health by ensuring that fluid in the inner ear is at a natural level. Fruits like Oranges, Banana and Apricots are quite useful in this regard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *