[Answered] While there has been some progress in tackling malnutrition among children and women over the past decade, the improvement has been modest at best. Discuss the reasons and implications for the prevalence of malnutrition in India.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.
Body: Write some reasons and implications of malnutrition in India.
Conclusion: Write some suggestions.

Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. The term malnutrition covers two broad groups of conditions. One is ‘undernutrition’-which includes stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age) and the other is overweight, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer).

Reasons of malnutrition in India:

  • Socio-Economic Causes: Poverty and inadequate coverage of governmental programmes hinders inclusion of various sections of the demography.
  • Lack of access to food- the non-availability of food in markets, difficult access to the markets due to the lack of transportation and insufficient financial resources leads to food insecurity in the country.
  • Lack of safe drinking water- As water is an essential commodity to live in, due to pollution and climate change the availability of safe drinking water is decreasing in the country.
  • Poor hygiene practices and poor sanitation make people more vulnerable to water-borne diseases which are the direct causes of acute malnutrition.
  • Illiteracy: Mostly women of the rural areas are not educated as the education and schooling of the mother determines breastfeeding practices, micronutrient intake, etc.


  • A child’s nutritional status is directly linked to their mother. Poor nutrition among pregnant women affects the nutritional status of the child and has a greater chance to affect future generations.
  • Undernourished children are at risk of under-performing in their studies and have limited job prospects. This vicious cycle restrains the development of the country, and affects the nation’s productivity and individuals’ too.
  • It affects the demographic dividend of the country and will become a demographic burden on the country.
  • Malnutrition results in income and social inequality.

There is a greater need now to increase investment in women and children’s health and nutrition to ensure their sustainable development and improved quality of life. For this, there is a need for increased financial commitment. The country’s response to malnutrition and its growing anaemia burden should be practical and innovative.

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