addressing-child-malnutritionDate: 29 December 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous
Globally over 200 million children below five years of age are chronically malnourished causing persistent problem in middle- and low-income countries.
India’s National Family Health Surveys (NFHS) show that there has been a decline in child malnutrition numbers in the country but various studies show that the rate of decline is very slow, and India is still fighting a tough battle.
The new study assessed district-level trends in the prevalence of malnutrition and how wealth disparity plays a role in five important malnutrition indicators such as stunting, underweight, wasting, low birth weight, and anaemia.
The researchers analysed data of 2015-16 and noted that among the four indicators, anaemia was highly prevalent at 54.6%, across the poorest of the poor in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana.
Wealth disparities in underweight children were seen across all districts with Gujarat, Jharkhand and Bihar having the worst disparities and Mizoram, Nagaland and Manipur having the least.
For stunting and underweight, the north and central region of India which includes Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand were composed primarily of “pitfall” and “intensity” districts.
Districts where the prevalence of malnutrition is uniformly high likely require a different intervention strategy compared with districts where prevalence is high but disproportionately shouldered amongst poorer households within the district.
Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a diet in which one or more nutrients are either not enough or are too much such that the diet causes health problems. It may involve calories, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins or minerals.