Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda on 10 December 2015 released the India Health Report: Nutrition 2015.
The report by Transform Nutrition consortium offers a critical analysis of the current situation with nutrition at the national and state levels in India.
As per the report, there is an urgent need for accelerating action at the state-level which is essential for changing the trajectory of India's children’s future as the battle against under nutrition must now be fought at ground level in communities and at homes.
Highlights of the India Health Report: Nutrition 2015
• It provides easy-to-understand, state-wise data dashboards for 28 states and Delhi that give a comprehensive view of nutrition and its determinants.
• It looks at disparities in these outcomes and their multiple determinants across geographical regions, socio-economic classes, and demographic groups and helps identify strategic choices for policy-making at the state level.
• It's ultimate goal is to deepen and focus the policy dialogue in India, raise awareness about the multisectoral nature of undernutrition and highlight areas for action, especially at the state-level.
• Stunting, wasting and underweight rates of India’s children have declined, especially during the last decade. However, India lags behind the world and its neighbours on the nutritional status of children.
• The rate of improvement in nutritional status has not kept pace with India’s significant gains in economic prosperity and agricultural productivity during recent decades.
• Improvements in economic and agricultural performance have not directly translated into improved nutrition because of other factors like inappropriate feeding and care practices, disease burdens, traditions, biases against girl children and cultural norms and preferences.
• Improvements in healthcare services, women’s empowerment, social protection and water and sanitation infrastructure alongside economic growth are needed to improve nutrition in India.
• Nutritional status and progress on reducing stunting vary markedly across India’s states indicating that state-specific approaches are necessary to achieve further gains in reducing stunting.
• Some of the most important immediate drivers of poor nutrition in India are Breastfeeding and complementary feeding, Child health, Income inequality, Food security and diet quality, Caste and class, Water, sanitation and hygiene, including open defecation.
• India ignores the problem of undernutrition and its impact on child development at its peril and risks large economic, health and social consequences for future generations.
• India’s undernutrition problem is a serious threat to child development. Accelerating Action at the State-level is essential to change the course of the future for India’s children.
The India Health Report on Nutrition is intended towards supporting the development of contextually-relevant and data-driven multisectoral nutrition strategies at the state level, taking into consideration the multiple drivers of nutritional outcomes.
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