Malnutrition

Malnutrition

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The key findings of the report entitled The State of the World's Children 2019-Children, Food and Nutrition: Growing well in a changing world (released in October, 2019), which has been produced by UNICEF, are as follows (please click here and here to access):   

• The proportion of children under 5 years who are either stunted, wasted or overweight was 54 percent for India in 2015, 49 percent for Afganistan, 46 percent for Bangladesh in 2014, 43 percent for Nepal in 2016, 43 percent for Pakistan in 2018, 40 percent for Bhutan in 2010, 32 percent for Maldives in 2009, 28 percent for Sri Lanka and 50 percent for South Asia region.

• Among all the countries studied in this report pertaining to burden of death among children below five years, India is ahead of others. In 2018, 8.82 lakh children under five years died in the country. For Nigeria that figure was 8.66 lakh and for Pakistan it was 4.09 lakh.  

• The median under-five mortality rate (viz. deaths among children below five years per 1,000 live births) for India is 37, Bangladesh is 30, Pakistan is 69, Nepal is 32, China is 9 and Sri Lanka is 7 in 2018.

• India's under-five mortality rate reduced from 126 in 1990 to 92 in 2000 and further to 37 in 2018.

• The country's infant mortality rate (viz. deaths among children below one year per 1,000 live births) reduced from 89 in 1990 to 30 in 2018.

• The country's neonatal mortality rate (viz. deaths among children below 28 days age per 1,000 live births) reduced from 57 in 1990 to 45 in 2000 and further to 23 in 2018.

• In 2018, 5.49 lakh children under 28 days age died in the country.

• In 2018, neonatal deaths as a proportion of all under-5 deaths was 62 percent.

• India's life expectancy at birth improved from 48 years in 1970 to 63 years in 2000 and further to 69 years in 2018.

• The number of deaths among children aged 5–14 years in 2018 was 1.43 lakh.

• The total number of maternal deaths in 2017 was 35,000 for India. The country's maternal mortality ratio in that year was 145. It refers to the number of women who die as a result of complications of pregnancy or childbearing in a given year per 100,000 live births in that year.

• The proportion of children in the age-group 0-4 years who are stunted (moderate and severe) was 38 percent during 2013-2018. For the poorest 20 percent that figure was 51 percent and for the richest 20 percent it was 22 percent.
 
• The proportion of children in the age-group 0-4 years who are severely wasted was 8 percent during 2013-2018. The proportion of children in the age-group 0-4 years who are severely and moderately wasted was 21 percent during the same time span.

• The proportion of children in the age-group 0-4 years who are overweight (moderate and severe) was 2 percent during 2013-2018.

• The proportion of children in the age-group 5-19 years who are overweight and obese was 7 percent during 2016.

• Almost 24 percent women above 18 years were underweight (body mass index < 18.5 kg per meter square) in 2016.

• Almost 51 percent women in the age-group 15-49 years suffered from mild, moderate and severe anaemia in 2016.

• The percentage of households consuming iodized salt in 2013–2018 was 93 percent.

• In 2018, the percentage of children aged 6–23 months who are eating at least 5 out of 8 food groups (Minimum Dietary Diversity) was 15 percent for Pakistan, 20 percent for India, 22 percent for Afganistan, 27 percent for Bangladesh, 45 percent for Nepal, 71 percent for Maldives, 20 percent for South Asia region and 29 percent globally. 

• In South Asia, children in the age-group 6-11 months are eating less diverse diets compared to children in the age-group 12–23 months.

• In 2018, globally 149 million children under 5 years were stunted and almost 49.5 million were wasted. In South Asia, 58.7 million children under 5 years were stunted and 25.9 million were wasted.

• In 2018, globally 40 million children under 5 years were overweight. Against that 5.2 million children under 5 years were overweight in South Asia.

• Nearly three-fourth of children in South Asia were not being fed much-needed nutrients from animal source foods in 2018.

• 56 percent children in South Asia were not fed any fruits or vegetables.

• Malnutrition must now be used to describe children with stunting (short stature for age) and wasting (low weight for height), those suffering from the ‘hidden hunger’ of deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals as well as the growing numbers of children and young people who are affected by overweight or obesity.

• Undernutrition continues to affect tens of millions of children. Its presence is visible in the stunted bodies of children deprived of adequate nutrition in the first 1,000 days and beyond. These children may carry the burden of early stunting for the rest of their lives and may never meet their full physical and intellectual potential.

• Undernutrition is also evident in the wasted bodies of children when circumstances like food shortages, poor feeding practices and infection, often compounded by poverty, humanitarian crises and conflict, deprive them of adequate nutrition and, in far too many cases, result in death.

• Overweight and obesity, long thought of as conditions of the wealthy, are now increasingly a condition of the poor, reflecting the greater availability of ‘cheap calories’ from fatty and sugary foods around the world. They bring with them a heightened risk of non-communicable diseases, like type 2 diabetes.

• Far too many children and young people are eating too little healthy food and too much unhealthy food.

 



Rural Expert


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