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ANALYSIS

India grappling malnutrition crisis; Carrying 1/3rd of stunting burden
Wednesday, 05 December, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
India is facing a major malnutrition crisis as it carries almost a third of the world's burden on stunting. This was one of the findings of the 2018 edition of the Global Nutrition Report, which was released recently.

The report, gives a comprehensive analysis of food and nutrition issues each year and reveals the key findings across the globe, referred to a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which used district-level aggregate data from the 2015-2016 National and Family Health Survey, covering 6,01,509 households in 604 districts in India, to understand the causes of the spatial variation.

The report also stated that:
  • Out of 141 countries analysed, 88 per cent (124 countries) experience more than one form of malnutrition
  • The findings are quite disturbing for policymakers in India, because when India initiated the National Family Health Survey, stunting and wasting among children in India were on par with Thailand
  • India now has the highest number of stunting among children, i e 46.6 million, followed by Nigeria (13.9 million) and Pakistan (10.7 million). India and Pakistan carry almost half of the world’s stunted children
  • India accounts for 25.5 million children who are wasted, followed by Nigeria (3.4 million) and Indonesia (3.3 million)
  • India also figures among the set of countries that has over a million overweight children. In urban areas, there are 7.1 per cent overweight children on an average, whereas in rural areas, 6.2 per cent children are overweight. It is slightly more common among boys (6.9 per cent) than girls (6.1 per cent)
India’s national nutrition strategy, which is focussed on addressing district-specific factors, draws on analyses such as these, along with district specific nutrition profiles, to enable diagnostic work and policy action to reduce inequalities and childhood stunting.
 
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