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National Nutrition Survey

  • 30 Sep 2019
  • 3 min read

The first-ever comprehensive National Nutrition Survey has been conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to measure malnutrition.

  • The survey recorded not only micronutrient deficiencies but also details of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and kidney function in children and adolescents.

Key findings

  • Nearly 10% of children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are pre-diabetic.
  • Also, 5% are overweight and another 5% suffer from blood pressure in the age groups mentioned above.
  • The first time hard evidence of the coexistence of obesity and undernutrition, among school-going children has been recorded.

  • The National Nutrition Survey is different from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) as,
    • NFHS collects data to measure the prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight and household dietary intake to measure deficiencies.
    • Moreover, the survey collects data only for the age groups of 1-5 years and adults, and not for school going children between the age of 5 and 19 years.

Steps Taken by Government of India to curb incidences of Malnutrition

  • Under the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY), Rs.6,000 is transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women for availing better facilities for their delivery.
  • POSHAN Abhiyaan, launched in 2017-18, aims to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight babies through synergy and convergence among different programmes, better monitoring and improved community mobilisation.
  • The National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, aims to ensure food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable through its associated schemes and programmes, making access to food a legal right.
  • Mid-day Meal (MDM) scheme aims to improve nutritional levels among school children which also has a direct and positive impact on enrolment, retention and attendance in schools.

Malnutrition and Undernutrition

  • 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.
    • Undernutrition—which includes stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age) and micronutrient deficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals).
    • Obesity— which includes overweight and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer).

Source:TH

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