GS 1 INDIAN SOCIETY-Population and associated issues
GS 2 GOVERNANCE-Issues relating to development and management Services relating to Health
Malnutrition occurs when the body doesn’t get enough nutrients. Causes include a poor diet, digestive conditions or another disease.Symptoms:fatigue, dizziness and weight loss.
Untreated malnutrition can cause physical or mental disability.There are 4 broad sub-forms of undernutrition:
- deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
Data as per WHO:
- 1.9 billion adults-overweight or obese, while 462 million-underweight.
- 47 million under 5 years are wasted, 14.3 million are severely wasted.
- 144 million under 5 are stunted,while 38.3 million are overweight or obese.
Around 45% of deaths among under 5 years of age are linked to undernutrition.
Status in India:
- 189.2 million (28%)-undernourished.
- 40.3 million(28%)-under 5- stunted.
- 20.1 million(43%-under 5- wasted.
- As a proportion of India’s population, around 14% were undernourished during 2017-19.(Brazil less than 2.5%)
(As per The state of Food Security and Nutrition in the World).
- proportion of underweight and stunted children was as high as 35.8% and 38.4% respectively(.National Family Health Survey (NFHS, 2015-16))
- Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and even Gujarat-the proportion of underweight children was more than 40 percent.
According to NFHS sample survey:-
- Mother’s education, particularly higher education-strongest inverse association with under-nutrition.(13.7% in India)
- The wealth index-access to sanitation facilities and safe drinking water.
- Diet-role of agricultural policies and diet diversification becomes important.
- Exclusive breastfeeding and the introduction of complementary foods and a diversified diet after the first six months-for growth and cognitive development.
- Access and utilisation of prenatal and postnatal health care services.
Current Measures Adopted:
- National Nutrition Mission/POSHAN Abhiyan:
- aims to reduce stunting, underweight and low birth weight each by 2%per annum.
- anaemia among children, adolescent girls and women, each by 3%per annum by 2022.
- The Harvest Plus programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) can work with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) to grow new varieties of nutrient-rich staple food crops-
- iron and zinc biofortified pearl millet
- zinc-bio fortified rice & wheat
- iron biofortified beans.
- Promote women’s higher education (providing liberal scholarships,bicycle distribution among girls.)
- WASH initiatives-safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene(Swachh Bharat Abhiyan-rural sanitation:from 38.7% in 2014 to 100% in 2019.Urban:99%.)
- Need to provide a more diversified food basket– including
- coarse grains
- bio-fortified staples
(Food-based safety nets in India are biased in favour of staples(rice and wheat))
- Anganwadi workers and community participation-child-caring practices and antenatal care for mother and children.
- comprehensive awareness programmes.
The target of ending all forms of malnutrition by 2030 is a target under Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 2) of Zero Hunger.The Government has initiated “Poshan Maah” to contribute towards a malnutrition free India by 2030. The government needs to address the multi-dimensional determinants of malnutrition on an urgent basis.