- Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
National Nutrition Survey
What to study?
For Prelims: Key features and findings of the survey.
For Mains: Significance, concerns expressed and ways to address them.
Context: With the help of UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently conducted the first-ever comprehensive National Nutrition Survey.
The survey recorded malnutrition that included micronutrient deficiencies and details of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and kidney function in children and adolescents.
- Around 10% of children in the age group of 5 to 9 years and adolescents in the age group 10 to 19 years are pre – diabetic. 5% of them were overweight and 5% suffered from blood pressure.
- The survey for the first time proved the coexistence of obesity and under nutrition.
- One in five children in the age group 5 to 9 years were stunted.
- Tamil Nadu and Goa had the highest number of adolescents who were obese or overweight.
Steps Taken by Government of India to curb incidences of Malnutrition:
- Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY): Rs.6,000 is transferred directly to the bank accounts of pregnant women for availing better facilities for their delivery.
- POSHAN Abhiyaan: aims to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia and low birth weight babies through synergy and convergence among different programmes, better monitoring and improved community mobilisation.
- National Food Security Act (NFSA), 2013, aims to ensure food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable through its associated schemes and programmes, making access to food a legal right.
- Mid-day Meal (MDM) schemeaims to improve nutritional levels among school children which also has a direct and positive impact on enrolment, retention and attendance in schools.
On 1 April 2016, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed 2016–2025 the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition.
Led by WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition calls for policy action across 6 key areas:
- creating sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets;
- providing social protection and nutrition-related education for all;
- aligning health systems to nutrition needs, and providing universal coverage of essential nutrition interventions;
- ensuring that trade and investment policies improve nutrition;
- building safe and supportive environments for nutrition at all ages; and
- strengthening and promoting nutrition governance and accountability, everywhere.
Sources: the Hindu.
Mains Question: With India’s double whammy of under nutrition co-existing with equally high and increasing rates of over nutrition, there is a pressing need for reshaping India’s nutrition policy with a focus on diet-related diseases. Discuss.