BJP-ruled states high on malnutrition index

India is the third most obese country because of ‘ overnutrition’ in urban areas even as half the children suffer from severe malnutrition

Photo by Ritesh Uttamchandani /Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Ritesh Uttamchandani /Hindustan Times via Getty Images


Malnutrition among children in India under the age of five is the highest in the world and the state of children in BJP-ruled states is worse than the rest.

However, there also has been an overall reduction in infant mortality, states a report prepared by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM). The report was prepared for Assocham by Earnst & Young (EY).

According to the report, India is home to 50 per cent of the total children suffering from malnutrition in the world.

The report states, seven Indian states which rank high on the malnutrition index are – UP (50.4%) followed by Bihar (49.4%), Jharkhand (47.4%), Chhattisgarh (43%), Meghalaya (42.9%), Gujarat (41.6%) and MP (41.5%). Except Meghalaya, all the states with high malnutrition rates are ruled by the BJP.

According to the report about 37 per cent of the children under the age of five are underweight, 39 per cent are stunted, 21 per cent are wasted and 8 per cent suffer from acute malnourishment.

In the age bracket of 1-5 years, the prevalence of underweight children is again higher in BJP-ruled states. With 42 per cent, Jharkhand ranks first, followed by Bihar (37 %), MP (36%) and UP (34.1%).

“Only about 10 per cent children under the age 6-23 months are reported to receive an adequate diet. This inequality in access is accentuated by the stark state level disparity in nutritional status,” observed the report.

“The policies need to focus on reducing health and social inequities within populations, raising educational attainment and providing WASH facilities as well as secure jobs to ensure access to services. Programmes and policies that aim to address this nutrition burden present a double-win situation,” said the report in its recommendations.

The report also highlights the fact that while under nutrition is predominant in rural India, urban India is faced with the challenge of over nutrition. India is ranked as the third most obese nation of the world after US and China and is called the diabetes capital of the world, commented the report.

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