India lags many African countries in achieving nutrition targets: Report

16 June 2016

The latest edition of the Global Nutrition Report that was released on 14 June says that, India's progress in reducing the child under-nutrition rate was well below what needed to be achieved as the country lagged behind many poorer countries of Africa. 

The Global Nutrition Report, an independent and comprehensive annual review of the state of the world's nutrition, is a multi-partner initiative that serves as a report card on the world's nutrition – globally, regionally, and country by country – and on efforts to improve it. It assesses progress towards achievement of Global Nutrition Targets established by the WHA.

According to the third panel of the report that talked about the state nutrition missions in India, ''Although declines in India's child under-nutrition rates have accelerated since 2006, these faster developments were still well below the rates of progress needed to achieve the global nutrition targets adopted by the WHA to which India is a signatory. India lags behind many poorer countries in Africa south of the Sahara; and at current rates of decline, India would achieve the stunting rates of Ghana or Togo by 2030 and that of China by 2055.

Further, nutritional status and progress in India varied markedly across states and India urgently needed to take target setting to the subnational level to achieve global nutrition targets and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).''

According to the report, around 800 million people in the world today faced a calorie deficit, which could lead to a whole host of health challenges, including low birth weight – a predictor for developmental issues and life-long illnesses.

Also other ailments like anaemia, stunted growth, muscle wasting, chest infections and higher rates of respiratory failure accompanied malnutrition as a result of undernourishment.

There was also a wider impact, which included a loss of a sustainable workforce and the burden on the health care sector that, in underprivileged nations, could create a cascade effect.

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