Child Nutrition Still a Persisting Problem in India; NFHS Reveals Shocking Data about Malnutrition

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, India has more problems to deal with! Child malnutrition issues still haunt Indian families and even growing more.

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Since the last survey conducted by NFHS (National Family Health Survey) authorities, the Indian children suffering from malnutrition has not shown much improvement. In fact, there has been a dramatic fall in the conditions of the malnutritioned child since the last survey in 2015-16. Four key metrics used in data formation that played a key role in deciding the situation India is in when it comes to the nutrition of kids.

What the data reveals and how to control malnutrition

The data revealed by the NFHS states that there are growing cases of malnutrition in our country and the statistics have only increased in the last five years since the last survey was conducted. It is mandatory for the parents of children to take care of their food habits desperately. They must also be exposed to certain external nutrition if needed so that these conditions improve with time.

Parameters used for the survey

Four key metrics were used to calculate the data and these are child wasting, child stunting, child mortality rate, and underweight children. The states that witnessed child wasting (children with less weight as compared to their heights) include Bihar, Telangana, Assam, Kerala, etc. Child stunting refers to “chronic undernutrition” in children that find a good increase in the states of West Bengal, Telangana, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Kerala. “One has not seen stunting increases in most of the world,” she said. “Normally, we do not see stunting levels increasing because all the things that affect child growth tend to improve as stable democracies and economies move ahead,” said Purnima Menon, a research faculty at International Food Policy Research Institute.

Also read: The pandemic pushing millions of Indian children into child labour

NFHS 3, 4, 5 day was better than the current NFHS data

NFHS 3 conducted in the year 2005-2006 and NFHS 4 conducted in the year 2015-16 showed positive growth in the malnutrition condition, unlike this year. Aashish Gupta, a fellow researcher at the University of Pennsylvania revealed, “Under 5 mortality was observed to be 74 deaths per 1,000 births in NFHS-3, and 50 deaths per 1,000 births in NFHS-4, a decline of about 33% over 10 years. NFHS-5 and NFHS-4 are about five years apart, but we are seeing very little progress in many states. In Maharashtra, the under-5 mortality rate is basically the same in NFHS-4 and 5, and in Bihar, it reduced by just 3% over five years”.

The Policy Times suggestion

  • It is not that only families with poor monetary backgrounds have kids suffering from malnutrition. Several families with a good income rate also have such kids who suffer from malnutrition. Thus, it is clear that we need more understanding of how a child must be nutritioned so that this problem can be dealt with easily.
  • If parents become a bit more conscious and the governing authorities also step in to tackle the child malnutrition issues then we can be more relieved. There must be proper education of the parents that will help them learn about the rightful nutrition of their child, more so if they are below the age of 5.

Also read: As Children are Out of School, World Bank Loans India to Promote Private Sector in Education

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Child Nutrition Still a Persisting Problem in India; NFHS Reveals Shocking Data about Malnutrition
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Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, India has more problems to deal with! Child malnutrition issues still haunt Indian families and even growing more.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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