Malnutrition in India

by Aman Sharma on April 19, 2014

Blog 2- Aman Sharma

Aman Sharma                                                Malnutrition in India

 

Sometimes it just gets worse…

 

 

 

People need food. We underestimate the accessibility of food everyday. We take the food in the dining halls for granted while there are many people in places like India unable to get the necessary nutrients. According to UNICEF, 46% of all children below the age of three are too small for their age and 47% are underweight.  If these numbers don’t promote urgency then maybe the fact that one third of the world’s malnourished children live in India will!

 

In India, child malnutrition is a result of high levels of exposure to infection and wrong infant and young child feeding practices. These wrong doings that originate in a child’s early years lead to future life problems. The problem is assessing what is wrong that is leading to malnutrition. To find an answer, we must find the root  of the problem.

 

Getting adequate nutrition is necessary for motor, sensory, cognitive, and social development. Certain vital nutrients influence cognition by acting on molecular systems or cellular processes necessary for proper function of your cognitive skills. Malnourished children are less likely to perform well in school while being at risk for disease and an early death. Pregnant women who cannot get enough nutrients to care for herself or her developing baby tend to give birth to low weight babies susceptible to further malnutrition and disease.

 

Currently the government of India is committed to reduce malnutrition and low birth weight through national and state level policies. It also seeks to use a community based approach to tackle the malnutrition and child development problems and supplement the diets of its citizens with dietary supplements.

 

Even though India has the largest child development program in the world, progress is limited. India’s Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) needs to usher change on how to properly address the current malnutrition  crisscrisescrises in India according toe the World Bank. Quality of service, deliver and distribution of food need to be improved upon, and the intentions of the ICDS need to implemented.

 

 

Meera Shekar, World Bank Senior Nutrition Specialist claimed, “The prevalence of underweight among children in India is among the highest in the world, and most children suffer from at least one micronutrient deficiency.” These nutrients are those that are vital to proper cognition function. Imagine knowing or witnessing a young child malnourished while he or she can not even function properly. That is not humane.

 

It is obvious reform is needed within the ICDS. A refocus of emphasis on disease control and prevention needs to be implemented. Among the necessary changes is within education. Proper learning of how to improve domestic child-care and feeding practices needs to be enforced. This is the future.

 

 

 

…. It can get better

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/

 

 

http://www.unicef.org/india/children_2356.htm

 

http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:20917151~pagePK:64257043~piPK:437376~theSitePK:4607,00.html


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