NOURISH TO FLOURISH:REDUCING
MIRANDA HOUSE, UNIVERSITY OF DELHI
Nutrition is a human right, which forms the basis for
economic, social and human development, hence good
nutrition throughout is a pre-requisite to good health.
An optimal nutrition ensures the proper development of a
child’s brain and body cells, enabling them to grow into
productive adults who could contribute to the
development of the society.
WHAT IS MALNUTRITION?
Malnutrition refers to the situation where
there is an unbalanced diet in which some
nutrients are in excess, lacking or wrong
TWO TYPES OF MALNUTRTION
MALNUTRITION IN INDIA : FACTS AND STATS
India remained home to more than a fourth of
the world’s hungry, 230 million people in all.
The latest Global Hunger Index described
hunger in Madhya Pradesh, a destitute state in
central India, as “extremely alarming”.
One in every three malnourished children in
the world lives in India. about 50 per cent of all
childhood deaths are attributed to
Around 46 per cent of all children below the
age of three are too small for their age.
47 per cent are underweight and at least 16
per cent are wasted.
India ranks 66 out of 88 countries on the 2008
Global Hunger Index (GHI).
India is home to the world’s largest food
insecure population, with more than 200
million people who are hungry.
All Indian states have at least a “serious” level
of hunger; there is not a single state with low
or even moderate levels.
Twelve states fall into the “alarming” category
and one (Madhya Pradesh) is considered to
have an “extremely alarming” level of hunger
CAUSES OF MALNUTRITION
PRIMARY CAUSES SECONDARY CAUSES
Household food insecurity.
Poor access to health
Lack of availability of safe
Poor sanitation and
and low purchasing power
Poor breastfeeding practices.
Poor complementary feeding
Ignorance about nutritional
needs of infants and young
children and repeated
infections further aggravate
Illiteracy specially in
Early marriages of girls.
resulting in low birth
weight of the newborns.
Number of other
factors such as
agricultural, and cultural
including various other
GENDER INEQUALITY:MOST FATAL
CAUSE OF MALNUTRITION
Unfavourable status of women affects
their health status and especially their
female children both directly and
Even in households that have enough
food, the way of distributing it may
leave women inadequately nourished.
The lack of nourishment puts women at
particular risk during their childbearing
Education and labour force participation
have an influence on maternal health and
can also be seen as distal causes of
malnutrition founded in gender
The extensive physical labour that
women must perform, combined with
men being given preference in the
distribution of food, accounts for
malnutrition among Indian women which
has devastating consequences for
Undernourished children have significantly lower chances of survival than children
who are well-nourished.
They are much more prone to serious infections and to die from common
childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea, measles, malaria, pneumonia, and HIV and
Iodine deficiency is known to affect a child’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ) adversely.
It has also been established that children with deficient growth before age two are
at an increased risk of chronic disease as adults, especially if they gain weight
rapidly in the later stages of childhood
A low birth weight baby, who is stunted and underweight in its infancy and gains
weight rapidly in childhood and adult life, is much more prone to chronic
conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
SOLUTIONSThere is overwhelming evidence to suggest that tackling child under-nutrition
requires a life-cycle approach, which implies that different interventions are needed
at different stages in the life of a woman (during adolescence and pre-pregnancy as
well as during pregnancy and after the birth of the child) and of a child (immediately
at birth, up to six months, 6-23 months and 24-59 months). Listed below are such
eight critical technical interventions.
1. Improve breastfeeding practices in the first six months of life by ensuring that:
• All newborns start breastfeeding within one hour after birth (early initiation);
• All newborns are fed the nutrient-rich colostrum in the first three-to-four days of life
2. Improve foods and feeding practices for children 6-23 months old by ensuring that
complementary foods are rich in energy, protein, and micronutrients (vitamins and
3. Control micronutrient deficiencies and anaemia in
adolescent girls and women by ensuring that:
• Anaemia is prevented in adolescent girls and pregnant
women through supplementation programmes with iron
and folic acid and deworming tablets.
• Iodine deficiency is prevented in adolescent girls and
women by ensuring that all salt for direct human
consumption contains adequate levels of iodine.
4. Provide quality care for children with severe under-
nutrition by ensuring that:
• Cases of severe acute under-nutrition are managed at home
with simplified protocols and also clinically (wherever
required) under appropriate medical supervision.
5.Improving the quality of mid day meals.
6.Setting up feeding centres in different parts of the
7.Malnutrition can also be combated by donating food like
eggs, milk etc to pregnant woman who are
8.Implementing the concept of golden rice. Golden rice is
one of the most nutrient rich and affordable rice
The solutions mentioned in the last slide require very strict interdisciplinary laws
and boundations in order to bear an exemplary outcome.
This grievous problem is strong enough to shake the bland moral beliefs of every
Indian to individually take a stand not at the country front but; at least creating
public awareness at family, society and state level.
The non-governmental organizations working in this field must be supported by
raising funds,donations,and becoming a part of their fund raising campaigns, shows
Government should ensure that a beneficial percent of the tax collected on
governmental services, goods and products, as well as the benefits obtained
through the import-export duties, tourism ,etc should reach the helping hands of
the country within safe time and place limit.
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Report on Malnutrition in India"
"2011 Global Hunger Index
Report". International Food Policy
Research Institute (IFPRI).
"Journal of the American Medical
Association"."The global burden of
"Turning the tide of malnutrition".
World Health Organization.
"The American Journal of Clinical
"NFHS-3 Nutritional Status of Adults“
"Child Development Website"
"Programs to address malnutrition in