• According to national level surveys 40% of the population, majority
is of women, in India consume <80% of the energy requirement
• NFHS shows 33% of the women in the age group 15--49 fall under
the category of malnourished (BMI <18.5), showing a relatively high
• Every 3rd woman in India is undernourished (35.6 per cent have low
Body Mass Index) and every second woman is anaemic (55.3%)
• 88% adolescent girls (3.3% has hemoglobin <7 gm./dl; severe
anemia) and 85% pregnant women (9.9% having severe anemia. The
prevalence of anemia was marginally higher in lactating women as
compared to pregnancy. The commonest is iron deficiency anemia
• Recent research indicates that 60 percent of deaths of children
under age 5 are associated with malnutrition — and children's
malnutrition is strongly correlated with mothers' poor nutritional
Importance of Women Health
• Better nutrition means stronger immune systems, fewer incidences of
illness and better health.
• The nutritional status of women is important both for the quality of
their own lives and the survival and healthy development of their
• healthy women can fulfill their multiple roles — generating income,
ensuring their families' nutrition, and having healthy children — more
effectively and thereby help advance countries' socioeconomic
• Improving women's nutrition can also help nations achieve three of
the Millennium Development Goals, which are commonly accepted
as a framework for measuring development progress
Millennium Development Goal
Goal #1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of
people who suffer from hunger.
Goal #4: Reduce child mortality.
Reduce, by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the
under-5 mortality rate.
Goal #5: Improve maternal health.
Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015,
the maternal mortality ratio.
How Improving Women and Adolescent Girls’
Well-nourished women are better able to provide
for themselves, their children, and their families.
Well-nourished mothers are more likely to have
infants with healthy birth weights, and such
children are less likely to ever suffer from
Well-nourished mothers are less likely to bear
low birth-weight babies, who are more likely to
die in infancy.
Well-nourished mothers are more likely to have
healthy babies who can survive childhood
Women with adequate stores of iron and other
micronutrients are less likely to suffer fatal
infections and are more likely to survive
bleeding during and after childbirth.
Well-nourished adolescent mothers are less likely
to experience obstructed labor than their
Factors affecting Nutritional status
of a woman
Household income and its utilization
Quality of the environment
Number of siblings
Vulnerability to gender discrimination
Her activity status & exposure to social
• Decision making power at the household, etc.
Improve Nutrition Throughout
Addressing the needs of girls and women
throughout their lives — the "life cycle approach"
— can improve women's nutritional status.
Many nutritional deficits experienced in infancy and
childhood have irreversible consequences, so
interventions to support adequate nutrition from
infancy onward directly benefit women later in life.
• Energy- 2330 Kcal(13-115 yrs.) &2440 Kcal(16-17yrs.)
• Minerals – Ca (800 mg) ;
Fe (27 mg/dL) 0.5 mg/day lose by way of
Menstruation therefore ensure adequate intake of Iron
Zn (12mg/d) supplements are helpful in
treating pubertal delay.
• Vitamins – B1 (1.2mg/d), B12 (0.2-1µg/d )
Vit D for structural growth,
functional integrity of newly formed cells depends on Vit
A (600µg/d Retinol &4800µg/d ß-Carotene), Vit C & E.
Every adolescent girl…
• need access to information and services related to nutrition,
reproductive health, family planning, and general health. Programs
can reach girls through a variety of avenues, including schools,
workplaces and youth-oriented health programs.
• Needs education and literacy to improve nutrition.
• should receive enough food, iron and folate supplements, and iron
and iodine-fortified foods.
• Needs to use their knowledge of nutrition when preparing and
handling food can also improve their health and that of their families.
• Needs Twice yearly deworming prophylaxis.
• develops life skills to avoid early marriage & early pregnancy is also
• Energy: +350Kcal
• Protein: 82.2g/d
• Minerals –
Vitamins – increased
need for Vit D, Vit A, Vit
E & Vit K
Vit C (40mg/d);
Iron: Anemia is responsible for about 35% of preventable LBW.
Infants born to anemic mothers are at greater risk of low birth
weight, premature birth, & impaired cognitive development.
Vitamin A: Low maternal stores of vitamin A compromise children's
stores of vitamin A, putting those children at greater risk of illness
Iodine : Iodine deficient mothers are more likely to miscarry or have a
stillborn child. The physical growth & mental development of the
children who do survive is often severely impaired, & children may
suffer irreversible mental retardation.
Folate and Other B Vitamins: Folate deficiency at the time of
conception can cause neural tube defects in infants, & maternal zinc
deficiency is associated with preterm delivery, low birth weight, and
increased infant mortality. Other B vitamins, including B6 & B12, are
important for ensuring children's healthy neurological development.
• Toxaemia or Pregnancy Induced HTN or
• Gestational Diabetes
• Access to sufficient quality & quantity food including during
pregnancy & lactation.
• Regular Consumption of iron & folate supplements when pregnant &
for at least 3 months after childbirth to reduce maternal anemia &
improve pregnancy & lactation outcomes, and should receive other
micronutrients as needed
• Regular salt consumption with adequate levels of iodine to prevent
foetal brain damage associated with iodine deficiency
• In areas where many women suffer CED and with high incidence of
LBW, pregnant and lactating women may need high-energy food
• Educational programs and public information campaigns can also
help address cultural norms that prevent women from eating
Exclusive breast feeding
• Exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of an
infant's life benefits both mother and child.
• Breastfeeding protects infants and children from illness and
helps ensure healthy growth and development, and starting
breastfeeding soon after birth may help prevent excessive
• Breastfeeding for up to two years can also help mothers keep
their iron levels up by delaying the return of menstruation.
• Estimates suggest that improving breastfeeding practices by
encouraging women to breastfeed their infants immediately
after birth and to avoid supplemental feeding for at least the
first six months could save the lives of 1.5 million children
Vit B12 Zn
diseases like CAD,
Improve Women's Status
"The quality of care and feeding offered to children … is critically
dependent on women's education, social status, and workload."
—UN Sub-Committee on Nutrition
• Addressing gender inequalities can help ensure that
women can get the nutrition they need, improving their
own health and that of their families and, ultimately,
contributing to their societies' development.
• Women who have greater control over household
resources tend to be healthier and better nourished — as
do their families — because women tend to spend more on
the nutrition, health, and well-being of their households
How Women's Nutrition Affects
• Malnutrition in women leads to economic losses for families, communities, and
countries because malnutrition reduces women's ability to work and can create
ripple effects that stretch through generations.
• malnutrition leads to reduced income from malnourished citizens, and face longterm problems related to LBW, including high rates of cardiac disease and diabetes
• Problems related to anemia, for example, including cognitive impairment in
children and low productivity in adults, cost US$5 billion a year in South Asia alone.
A recent report from Asia shows that malnutrition reduces human productivity by
10 percent to 15 percent and gross domestic product by 5 percent to 10 percent.
By improving the nutrition of adolescent girls and women, nations can reduce
health care costs, increase intellectual capacity, and improve adult productivity.21
1.Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS) 2 Oct,1975
Beneficiaries: 1. Children below 6 years
2. Pregnant and lactating women
3. Women in the age group of 15-44 years
4. Adolescent girls in selected blocks
1. Supplementary nutrition, Vit-A, Iron and Folic Acid,
3. Health check-ups,
4. Referral services,
5. Treatment of minor illnesses,
6. Nutrition and health education to women,
7. Pre-school education of children in the age group of 3-6 years, and
8. Convergence of other supportive services like water supply,
2. Special Nutrition Programs (SNP) 1970-71.
provides supplementary feeding of about 300 calories and 10 grams of
protein to preschool children and about 500 calories and 25 grams of
protein to expect at and nursing mothers for six days a week.
3. Applied Nutrition Programs (ANP); 1973
The beneficiaries are children between 2-6 years and pregnant and
lactating mothers. Nutrition worth of 25 paise per child per day and 50
paise per woman per day are provided for 52 days in a year. No definite
nutrient content has been specified.
4. Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls (NPAG) 2002-03
Target Group: Adolescent girls (11-19 years) (weight < 35 Kg).
Services: (i) 6 kg of free food-grains (wheat/rice/Maize based on
habitual consumption pattern of the state) /per month per beneficiary.
(ii) Nutrition and Health Education to the beneficiaries and their
5. National Nutritional Anemia Prophylaxis Program
• the expected and nursing mothers as well as acceptors of family
planning - one tablet of iron and folic acid containing 100 mg
elementary iron & 0.5 mg of folic acid
• children (1-5 yrs. )- one tablet of iron containing 20 mg elementary
iron (60 mg of ferrous sulphate and 0.1 mg of folic acid) daily for a
period of 100 days.
6. National Program for Prevention of Blindness
due to Vitamin A Deficiency
7. National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control
It is not just about women and not just for women.
Addressing women’s health is a necessary and
effective approach to strengthening health systems
overall – action that will benefit everyone.
Improving women’s health matters to women, to
their families, communities and societies at large.
Improve women’s health – improve the
• Srilakshmi, B.2005.Dietetics.New Age International(P),Publishers,
• Women and health : today's evidence tomorrow's agenda.
(2009)World Health Organization.