New Delhi, November 30 (KMS): India holds almost a third of the world’s burden for stunting with 46.6 million stunted children, the Global Nutrition Report 2018 said.

Stunting, or low height for age, is caused by long-term insufficient nutrient-intake and frequent infections. India also accounted for 25.5 million children who are wasted, followed by Nigeria (3.4 million) and Indonesia (3.3 million), the report said.

“More than half of the world’s children impacted by wasting (26.9 million) live in South Asia. Of the three countries that are home to almost half (47.2 per cent) of all stunted children, two are in Asia, with India having 46.6 million (31 per cent) and Pakistan having 10.7 million,” the report said.

Globally 150.8 million children under five years are stunted and 50.5 million are wasted, the report said. India also figures among the set of countries that has more than a million overweight children, it added.

Corinna Hawkes, co-chair of the report and director of the Centre for Food Policy said, “The figures call for immediate action. Malnutrition is responsible for more ill-health than any other cause. The health consequences of being overweight and obese contribute to an estimated four million deaths globally.”

The report referred to a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) which used district-level aggregate data from the 2015-2016 National and Family Health Survey, covering 601,509 households in 604 districts in India, to understand the causes of the spatial variation.


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