Nutritional security could have made the fight against COVID-19 easier -Sheeba Krishnakumar

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published Published on Jan 6, 2021   modified Modified on Jan 9, 2021

-Down to Earth

This weak link between growth in income and nutritional outcomes requires the attention of policy makers

The Covid pandemic reminds us that we may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. Low-income countries like India faced a multi-pronged crisis during the pandemic — containing the infections while being home to 195.9 million of the 821 million undernourished people in the world.

Prevalence of undernourishment in India is 14.8 per cent which is higher than the global and Asian average, as per the Food and Agricultural Report 2018. Because of chronic undernutrition, 4 out of 10 children in India do not meet their potential.

The country also has 14 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world and stands the danger of high incidence of acute respiratory infections. The pandemic underlined the popular saying that health is wealth and that it is immunity that matters. Survival of the fittest has never been more relevant.

Nutrition has lifelong consequences on human capital, poverty and equity. Nutritional deficiencies early in life can impact the cognition, concentration and energy levels of students. According to the World Bank, a 1 per cent loss in adult height due to childhood stunting is associated with 1.4 per cent loss in economic productivity.

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Down to Earth, 6 January, 2021,

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