Malnutrition is a problem related to food availability in the eyes of experts amid emphasis on awareness in ‘Mann Ki Baat’

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday mentioned the Indian government’s nutrition programs and also talked about how they have been helpful in reducing the problem of malnutrition. However, the reality is that 47 years after the launch of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), the government’s oldest flagship program to eradicate malnutrition, one in three children in India is still malnourished. This has resulted from the latest data from the National Family Health Survey-5.

In his monthly radio show ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Modi spoke about India’s nutrition programs and urged Indians to participate in efforts to eradicate malnutrition in the country. The Prime Minister was addressing the program just before ‘Poshan Maah’ in September.

However, NFHS-5 data, conducted between 2019 and 2021 and released in May this year, shows that 35.5% of Indian children under 5 (urban-30.1%, rural-37.3) have growth retardation, that is to say, their height. It is less for their age.

The data also show that 32.1 percent of children in the same age group (urban: 27.3 percent, rural: 33.8 percent) are vulnerable – that is, they weigh less than their age- and that 19.3 percent of children (urban: 18.5 percent). they weigh less. , rural – 19.5 percent) are underweight, whose weight is lower than their height.

While the latest NFHS survey, a national survey conducted by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, shows a marginal improvement over the previous survey (NFHS-4) conducted between 2015 and 2016, 38.4% of children were stunted, 21 were weak, and 35.8% were underweight.

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