National Nutrition Survey

  • Category
    Society
  • Published
    15th Oct, 2019

India conducted its first ever comprehensive National Nutrition Survey through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in partnership with United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to measure the level of malnutrition in India.

Context

India conducted its first ever comprehensive National Nutrition Survey through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in partnership with United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to measure the level of malnutrition in India.

About

About the survey:-

  • CDSA – Clinical Development Services Agency was selected as the monitoring agency for the aforementioned survey.
  • The survey covered more than 1,20,000 covering both children and adolescents in rural and urban area. The survey was conducted over a period of two years (2016-2018)
  • It aimed to assess the following
  • Micro nutrient deficiencies
  • Sub clinical inflammation
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Cardio – metabolic risks

Key findings of the Survey:-

The survey for the first time found existence of ‘Burden of double malnutrition’ i.e. coexistence of under nutrition along with overweight, obesity or diet-related Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs), within individuals, households and populations, and across the life-course.

  • Prevalence of stunting – In the survey over 35% of Indian children aged 0-4 were found stunted. Rural areas had 37% of stunted children in comparison to 27% in urban areas.
  • Breastfeeding –Breastfeeding is inversely proportional to household wealth. A higher proportion of children (12-15 months) residing in rural areas are breastfed (85%) compared to children in urban areas (76%).
  • Obesity - 14.5% of children in the age group of 5 to 9 years in urban areas have higher Subscapular Skinfold Thickness (SSFT) than 5.3% in rural areas. Subscapular Skinfold Thickness (SSFT) is a non-invasive method of body fat estimation.
  • Deficiencies – Zinc deficiency is more prevalent in rural children in comparison to their counter parts in urban areas. Alternatively urban children are deficient in Iron and vitamin D in comparison to rural children, due to a better performance of the government’s health programmes in rural areas.

Overall, rural children and adolescents faces a higher percentage of stunting and underweight compared to urban counterparts.

Few Major steps taken by government to combat malnutrition:-

As per one of the targets under Globally Agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), By 2030, government seeks to end all forms of malnutrition, including the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons.

  • To address the components of the Target, the WCD Ministry is implementing Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme and Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Adolescent Girls i.e. SABLA.
  • Mid – day meal scheme
  • National Food Security act, 2013 – The act made food a legal right of the citizens. It aims to ensure food and nutrition security to the vulnerable
  • Poshan Abhiyan – is Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. It was launched in 2017 – to reduce anemia, stunting, under – nutrition.

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