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Global Nutrition Report 2020

  • 13 May 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The Global Nutrition Report 2020 stated that India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025.

  • It also identified the country as one with the highest rates of domestic inequalities in malnutrition.

Global Nutrition Targets

  • In 2012, the World Health Assembly (the decision-making body of the World Health Organisation) 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%.

India’s Status

  • India will miss targets for all four nutritional indicators for which there is data available, i.e.
    • Stunting among under-5 children,
    • Anaemia among women of reproductive age,
    • Childhood overweight and
    • Exclusive breastfeeding.
  • Stunting and wasting among children
    • Data: 37.9% of children under 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared to the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively.
    • Inequity:
      • India is identified as among the three worst countries, along with Nigeria and Indonesia, for steep within-country disparities in stunting, where the levels varied four-fold across communities.
      • For example, Stunting level in Uttar Pradesh is over 40% and their rate among individuals in the lowest income group is more than double those in the highest income group at 22.0% and 50.7%, respectively.
      • In addition, stunting prevalence is 10.1% higher in rural areas compared to urban areas.
  • Overweight and Obesity
    • Data: Rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.
    • Inequity: There are nearly double as many obese adult females than there are males (5.1% compared to 2.7%).
  • Anaemia
    • One in two women of reproductive age is anaemic.
  • Underweight children
    • Between 2000 and 2016, rates of underweight have decreased from 66.0% to 58.1% for boys and 54.2% to 50.1% in girls.
    • However, this is still high compared to the average of 35.6% for boys and 31.8% for girls in Asia.
  • Link Between Malnutrition and Inequity
    • The report emphasises on the link between malnutrition and different forms of inequity, such as those based on geographic location, age, gender, ethnicity, education and wealth in all its forms.
    • Inequities in food and health systems increase inequalities in nutrition outcomes that in turn can lead to more inequity, perpetuating a vicious cycle.
    • Coming at a time the world is battling Covid-19, which has exposed different forms of socio-economic inequities, the report calls for promoting equity to address malnutrition.

Malnutrition

  • Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.
  • The term malnutrition covers two broad groups of conditions.
    • One is ‘undernutrition’—which includes stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age) and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals).
    • The other is overweight, obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer).
  • In April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition from 2016 to 2025.
  • The Sustainable Development Goal (SD Goal 2: Zero hunger) aims to end all forms of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, making sure all people – especially children – have access to sufficient and nutritious food all year round.

Global Nutrition Report

  • The Global Nutrition Report was conceived following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013.
    • The first report was published in 2014.
  • It acts as a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it.
  • It is a multi-stakeholder initiative, consisting of a Stakeholder Group, Independent Expert Group and Report Secretariat.

Source: TH

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