89% children between 6-23 months don’t get adequate diet: NFHS

What is the News?

The National Family Health Survey(NFHS-5) has released data on the gap in Child Nutrition.

What does NFHS say about Child Nutrition?

Minimum Acceptable Diet: Around 89% of children between the formative ages of 6-23 months do not receive a “minimum acceptable diet’’. This is only marginally better than the 90.4% recorded in NFHS-4.

Note: The minimum acceptable diet is a composite of two main things: 1) breastfeeding and its frequency up to two years and 2) dietary diversity. 

– In dietary diversity, WHO has defined ten essential food groups — cereals and millets, pulses, milk and milk products, roots and tubers, green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, fruits, fat or oil, fish, egg and other meats and sugar — out of which 4-5 every day are required for a child to prevent malnutrition.

States where Children received an adequate diet: The proportion of children who received a minimum acceptable diet was highest in Meghalaya (28.5%) and the lowest in UP and Gujarat (5.9% each).

Access to the minimum acceptable diet in children was higher in urban areas (12.1%) than in rural areas (10.7%).

Reasons for Deficient Diet: There are a number of reasons for a deficient diet — poverty, lack of access to nutrition (cereals, fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc), lack of awareness and low education among others.

Impact of Deficient Diet: Deficiency in the diet in a child’s formative years has a direct bearing on malnutrition, with India having one of the highest malnutrition burdens in the world.

Source: The post is based on the article “89% children between 6-23 months don’t get adequate diet: NFHS” published in Indian Express on 11th May 2022.

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