Malnutrition

Malnutrition

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As per the Global Nutrition Report 2018: Shining a light to spur action on nutrition, please click here and here to access: 

• There are three countries, which are home to almost half (47.2 percent) of all stunted children: India, Nigeria and Pakistan. The three countries with the largest number of children who are stunted are India (46.6 million), Nigeria (13.9 million) and Pakistan (10.7 million). The three countries with the most children who are wasted are almost the same ones – India (25.5 million) and Nigeria (3.4 million) but also Indonesia (3.3 million).

• China, Indonesia, India, Egypt, US, Brazil and Pakistan have more than a million overweight children each.

• The India specific profile of the Global Nutrition Report 2018 shows that there has been some progress made by the country to reduce the prevalence of stunting among children below 5 years. However, there is no progress (or there is worsening) made by the country to reduce the prevalence of wasting among children below 5 years, prevalence of anaemia among women of reproductive age (WRA), prevalence of both adult male and female obesity, and prevalence of both adult male and female diabetes.

• Nearly 6.3 percent of children under 5 years of age are both stunted and wasted.

• India is among 26 countries which is affected by both anaemia and stunting.

• The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) used district-level aggregate data from the 2015–2016 National and Family Health Survey covering 6,01,509 households in 604 districts in the country so as to understand the causes of the spatial variation.

• India holds almost a third (31 percent) of the world’s burden for stunting, and because the country is so diverse from state to state, it is important to understand how and why stunting prevalence differs. Researchers used mapping and descriptive analyses to understand spatial differences in distribution of stunting. The mapping showed that stunting varies greatly from district to district (12.4 percent to 65.1 percent), with 239 of 604 districts having stunting levels above 40 percent.

• Using regression decomposition models, the study compared districts with low (less than 20 percent) versus high (more than 40 percent) burdens of stunting and explained over 70 percent of the difference between high and low-stunting districts. The study found that factors such as women's low BMI accounted for 19 percent of the difference between the low versus high-burden districts.

• Other influential gender-related factors included maternal education (accounted for 12 percent), age at marriage (7 percent) and antenatal care (6 percent). Children’s diets (9 percent), assets (7 percent), open defecation (7 percent) and household size (5 percent) were also influential. This study is important in that it reinforced the multisectoral nature of stunting by highlighting that differences between districts were explained by many factors associated with gender, education, economic status, health, hygiene, and other demographic factors. India’s national nutrition strategy – which is focused 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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