According to the Global Nutrition Report, 2021 released by the World Health Organisation, India has made no progress on anaemia and childhood wasting. Over half of Indian women in the age group 15-49 years are anaemic, according to the report, whose number has increased from 52.6% in 2016 to 53% in 2020.
Over 17 per cent of Indian children under 5 years of age are affected by childhood wasting. This figure is much higher than the average for Asia where close to 9 per cent children are affected. India is also among 23 countries that have made no progress or are worsening on reducing ‘childhood wasting’. Wasting refers to children whose weight is low for their height.
India is among 53 countries ‘on course’ to meet the target for stunting. But over 34 per cent of children under 5 years of age are still affected. Stunting refers to children whose height is short for their age.
India is ‘off-course’ in meeting 7 of the 13 global nutrition targets. These include sodium intake, raised blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Some 6.2 per cent of adult women and 3.5 per cent of adult men are living with obesity in the country. In fact, no country in the world was ‘on course’ to achieve the target for obesity.
India does not have adequate data on prevalence of ‘low birth weight’, according to the report.