- Recently a nutrition survey by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has found that 35 per cent of children under the age of 5 years in the country are stunted, while 17 per cent are wasted and 33 per cent are underweight.
About Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS)
- Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS), the first-ever nationally representative nutrition survey of children and adolescents in India, was commissioned by the ministry and carried out by experts from various institutes, including PGIMER Chandigarh, Kalawati Saran Children’s Hospital in New Delhi, along with experts from UNICEF and other development partners.
- This was the largest micronutrient survey ever implemented globally and used gold standard methods to assess anaemia, micronutrient deficiencies and biomarkers of non-communicable diseases among children for the first time in India, noted the Ministry.
Key Findings of the Survey:
- The survey, conducted between 2016 and 2018, also found that 24 per cent of adolescents were thin for their age, 4-8 per cent of adolescents were overweight or obese, 6 per cent of adolescents were overweight, and 2 per cent had abdominal obesity.
- The study also found that 10.4 percent of 10-19 year-olds in India are pre-diabetic, which experts say is largely due to consumption of processed foods and sedentary lifestyles.
- In the CNNS, 35 per cent of Indian children aged 0-4 years were stunted. A number of the most populous states including Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, and had a high (37-42 per cent stunting prevalence. The lowest prevalence of stunting (16-21 per cent) was found in Goa and Jammu and Kashmir
- According to the survey, 17 per cent of Indian children age 0-4 years were wasted. High prevalence (20 per cent) states included Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand. The states with the lowest prevalence of under-five wasting were Manipur, Mizoram and Uttarakhand (6 per cent each).
- The study also found that 41 per cent of preschoolers, 24 per cent of school-age children and 28 per cent of adolescents were anaemic. Anaemia was a moderate or severe public health problem among preschoolers in 27 states, among school-age children in 15 states, and among adolescents in 20 states.