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Global Nutrient Report 2021

Published: 6th Dec, 2021


According to a recent report by the Global Nutrition Report (GNR, 2021), India has made little progress in terms of ‘anaemia’ and ‘child abuse’.

Important Findings

  • Global Food Targets: With the current level of progress, global targets will not be achieved by 2025 globally and in many countries around the world.
  • Variation in Data Access: There are significant differences in data availability and progress in targeting global nutrition in 194 countries. Only seven countries are on track to meet four of the six nutritional goals for mothers, infants and young children by 2025, and no country is 'on track' to stop the growth of obesity in adults or to achieve a 30% reduction in salt / sodium intake. .
  • Impact of Covid-19: The Covid-19 epidemic is hindering progress toward achieving global nutrition goals. An estimated 155 million more people have been thrown into extreme poverty worldwide, and people with food borne illness are experiencing side effects of Covid-19.
  • Small Food Development Developments: The last ten years have seen little progress in food development, and a quarter of all deaths among adults are due to malnutrition.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Worldwide: Food production currently produces more than a third of all greenhouse gases worldwide, and it uses a large and growing amount of natural resources.
  • Principles of Sustainable Development: No region is in the process of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals aimed at limiting the health and environmental risks associated with food and the food system.

Global Nutrition Targets

  • In 2012, the World Health Assembly (the decision-making body of the World Health Organization) identified six nutrition targets to be met by 2025. These are:
  • Reduce stunting by 40% in children under 5.
  • Reduce the prevalence of anaemia by 50% among women in the age group of 19-49 years.
  • Ensure 30% reduction in low-birth weight.
  • Ensure no increase in childhood overweight.
  • Increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to at least 50%
  • Reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%.

Data Related to India

  • Indian Women with Anaemic: More than half of Indian women 15-49 years old have anaemia. There has been an increase in Indian women with anaemia from 2016 from 52.6% to 53% by 2020.
  • Child Abuse: More than 17% of Indian children under the age of 5 are affected.India is also among the 23 countries that have made little or no progress in reducing 'child abuse'.Waste means children who are underweight for their height.
  • Child Surprise: More than 34% of children under the age of 5 are still affected.India is among 53 countries ‘on the road’ to meet the challenge of hardship.Toughness is defined as the minimum length of years.
  • Childhood Obesity: The country is among 105 countries ‘on track’ to meet the goals of ‘childhood obesity’.
  • India Conference Targets: India meets 7 of the 13 global targets of nutritious foods including sodium, high blood pressure (both men and women), obesity (both men and women) and diabetes (both men and women).

Reason for lacking behind

  • Inequality and social exclusion: In recent years, India has become self-sufficient in grain production and has enjoyed steady economic growth. Despite this success, there is no alleviation of poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.
    • In a report, WFP revealed, almost 21.25% Indian population lives on USD 1.90/day with a huge spectrum of inequality and social exclusion.
  • Growing prevalence of food insecurity: In 2019, India had 6.2 crore more people living with food insecurity, which increased by 3.8% between 2014 and 2019. The COVID 19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown has made food insecurity worse by disrupting the food distribution system across large parts of India.
  • Inadequate focus: In 2019, NITI Aayog’s ‘Strategy for New India @ 75’ report found that India’s main nutrition program platform, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) has inadequate focus on the first 1000 days of the child’s life. This report argued that the program mainly delivers services to children aged 3 to 6 years old, whereas children under 2 to 3 years of age should be given the highest priority to ensure optimum growth and development among young children.
  • Poor implementation of PDS System: There are persistent problems in India’s PDS such as fake supply of ration cards leaving the poor left out, selling the commodities on the open market, not supplying permitted amounts of food grains by the fair price shops, replacing good quality food grains with cheap varieties, etc.

Suggestions to meet the target

  • Holistic approach: The first step for India to combat the dual burden of malnutrition, nutrition inequality, and food insecurity is to fill the gaps in the nutrition composition of the daily diet.
  • Maintaining good diet: Ensuring sustainable eating by adding nutrient-dense, climate-smart crops such as millets to the Indian daily diet could be rewarding in preventing nutritional deficiency and diet related NCDs.
  • Policy initiatives are urgently needed to transform the existing food system by involving all stakeholders.
  • More finance is needed to meet additional requirements to address pandemic-induced nutritional loss.
  • Monitoring: At the same time India needs a better data management system, greater accountability in the food distribution system, efficient resource management, adequate nutrition education, reinforcement of manpower and systematic monitoring to aim at achieving global nutrition targets by 2030.

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