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Report on Malnutrition

Topics Covered:

Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


Report on Malnutrition


What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings of the report.

For Mains: Concerns, challenges and ways to address them.


Context: Report on the  first comprehensive estimate of disease burden due to child and maternal malnutrition and the trends of its indicators in every State from 1990 has been released.

It was published by India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative.


Key findings:

  1. Overall under-five death rate and the death rate due to malnutrition has decreased substantially from 1990 to 2017, but malnutrition is still the leading risk factor for death in children under five years, and is also the leading risk factor for disease burden for all ages considered together in most States.
  2. Disability-adjusted life year (DALY) rate attributable to malnutrition in children varies 7-fold among the States and is highest in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Nagaland and Tripura.
  3. Among the malnutrition indicators, low birth weight is the biggest contributor to disease burden followed by child growth failure which includes stunting, underweight and wasting.


State-wise data:

  • Incidence of low birth weight: 21 per cent in India in 2017, ranging from 9 per cent in Mizoram to 24 per cent in UP. The annual rate of reduction was 1.1 per cent in India between 1990 and 2017, ranging from 3.8 per cent in Sikkim to 0.3 per cent in Delhi.
  • Incidence of child stunting: Incidences of stunting among children was 39 per cent in India in 2017. This ranged from 21 per cent in Goa to 49 per cent in UP, and was generally the highest among socio-economically backward states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Rajasthan, MP and UP.
  • Incidence of children being underweight: In 2017, 33 per cent of the children in India were reportedly underweight, ranging from 16 per cent in Manipur to 42 per cent in Jharkhand. The annual rate of reduction was 3.2 per cent in India between 1990 and 2017, ranging from 5.4 per cent in Meghalaya to 1.8 per cent in Delhi.
  • The incidences of anaemia among children was 60 per cent in India in 2017, ranging from 21 per cent in Mizoram to 74 per cent in Haryana.
  • The annual rate of reduction was 1.8 per cent in India between 1990 and 2017, which varied from 8.3 per cent in Mizoram to no significant reduction in Goa.


Way ahead:

These findings highlight that there are wide variations in the malnutrition status between the States. It is important therefore to plan the reduction in malnutrition in a manner that is suitable for the trends and context of each State.


Facts for Prelims:

India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative is a joint initiative of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Public Health Foundation of India, and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with experts and stakeholders associated with over 100 Indian institutions, involving many leading health scientists and policy makers from India.


Sources: the Hindu.