About 2.1 million or 24.9% of the Vietnamese children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition, according to statistics from the National Nutrition Institute.
In addition, 1.2 million or 14.5% of the country's children are underweight.
That means one in every four Vietnamese children under the age of five suffers from malnutrition, while one in every six children is underweight.
The statistics was announced by Dr Nguyen Thi Lam, Deputy Head of the National Nutrition Institute, at a recent workshop on the effect of probiotics on children's nutrition, immune and digestive systems by the Institute of Medicine Application.
Lam said malnutrition made children more vulnerable to diseases due to their weak immune systems. Malnourished children are also prone to iron-deficiency anemia, vitamin A and calcium deficiencies, leading to rickets and zinc deficiency.
Parents should pay more attention to food consumed by children and prevent malnutrition by adding probiotics to their diet, Lam said.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeast that are beneficial for digestion and nutrient absorption, which help to reduce cholesterol levels, absorb vitamins and improve the immune system.
Studies show that the foods containing probiotics are dairy products, vegetables, fruits and cereals, as well as yogurt, cheese and pickles.