What is the News?
A Study titled “Intergenerational nutrition benefits of India’s national school feeding program’” has been published in Nature Communications.
The study used nationally representative data on mothers and their children from 1993 to 2016 to assess whether the mid-day meal scheme has supported intergenerational improvements in a child’s linear growth.
Read More: About Mid Day Meal Scheme
Key Findings of the Study:
- The study has found that the midday meal scheme was associated with 13-32% of the improvement in the height-for-age scores in India between 2006 and 2016.
- Girls who had access to free lunches provided at government schools had children with a higher height-to-age ratio than those who did not.
- Moreover, the linkages between midday meals and lower stunting in the next generation were stronger in the lower socio-economic strata
Importance of Mid Day Meal Scheme:
- In India, more than one in three children are stunted or too short for their age, which reflects chronic undernutrition.
- The fight against stunting has often focussed on boosting nutrition for young children.
- However, nutritionists have long argued that maternal health and well-being is the key to reducing stunting in their offspring.
- Hence, the study has noted that interventions to improve maternal height and education must be implemented years before those girls and young women become mothers.
- The interventions in fields such as women’s education, fertility and the use of health services will reduce malnutrition.