Malnutrition Current Affairs - 2020

May 28: World Hunger Day

Every year, May 28 is marked as World Hunger Day. The World Hunger Day is an initiative of the Hunger Project.

Significance

The United Nations aims to increase agricultural productivity. This is to feed 820 million people that are with inadequate food security. The UN predicts that 2 billion are to come under poverty and face hunger by 2050.

In order to eliminate hunger, the Sustainable Development Goal of “Zero Hunger” was included

India

India in 2019-20 produced 281.95 million tonnes of food grains. Still 69% of deaths of children under 5 in India is due to malnutrition. The data was provided by the State of World Children Report.

Also, India ranks at 102nd position in Global Hunger Index.

Current Scenario of India

  • World Bank says that Human Capital Index of India is 0.44. This means that an Indian child grows only to 44% of her potential.
  • Around 55% of Indian Children (of age 6 months to 23 months) had zero consumption of vegetables. This is mainly due to lack of breast feeding and diet diversity.

WHO releases Global Nutrition Report, 2020

On May 13, 2020, the World Health Organization released Global Nutrition Report, 2020.

Highlights

According to the report, India is one among the 88 countries that are to miss global nutrition targets set for the year 2025. India also has highest rates of domestic inequalities, especially in malnutrition. Along with Nigeria and Indonesia, India was declared the least performing in case of disparities in stunting.

The Four Nutritional Indicators

The major 4 nutritional indicators are anemia among women in reproductive age, stunting among children under-5, exclusive breast feeding and childhood overweight. The report says that India is to miss the target on all four nutritional indicators.

Key Findings

According to the report, between 2000 and 2016, underweight has decreased to 58.1% from 66% for boys. And for girls, it has decreased from 54.2% to 50.1%. Though the decrease is evident, it is still higher than that of Asian average which is 35.6% for boys and 31.8% for girls.

Around 9% of under-5 children in India are stunted and 20.8% are wasted. At least 21.6% of Indian women and 17.8% of Indian men were anaemic.

Background

The Global Nutrition Report was conceived during the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit that was held in 2013.

What are the Global Nutrition Targets?

The World Health Assembly in 2012 fixed nutrition targets. They are as follows

  • To reduce anaemic conditions among women by 50%
  • To reduce stunting in under-5 children by 40%
  • To reduce underweight births by 30%
  • To reduce childhood wasting to less than 5%.

About the report

The report asks governments to focus on malnutrition as COVID-19 is threatening food systems and health. On in nine people in the world are hungry and undernourished.