"Malnutrition in India is declining faster than before, but the improvement is not fast enough to meet global targets."Discuss in the light of recently released reports.

Published: March 17, 2016

In December 2015, two reports-Global Nutrition Report (GNR) and India Health Report on Nutrition, 2015 (IHR) were released which stated that malnutrition in India is declining faster than before, but the improvement is not fast enough to meet global targets.
Global Nutrition Report (GNR) 2015 pointed out that at the global level there is an increase in the number of countries that are progressing towards achieving their global targets and are consistent with new Sustainable Development Goals.
According to the report, India is on track in achieving only two (under-five overweight and exclusive breastfeeding rates) of the eight targets and there is a remarkable improvement in nutritional status in the last 10 years.
Therefore, there is still a long way to go for India to match the global standards with respect to health indicators.
India Health Report on Nutrition (IHR) 2015 gives nutrition status at national level and also state-wise data with its determinants.
Some of the highlights of the report:
About 39% of children under 5 are stunted in India. However, it has declined rapidly in the last ten years.
About 55% of Indian women (aged 15-49 years) have anaemia or low blood count.
About 70% of Indian children (aged 6-35 months) are suffering from anaemia.
Only 50% infants of 6-35 months receive sold, semi-solid and soft food.
The infant malnutrition might be due to early marriage of women.
This data points to several systemic inequalities in India. There is inter-state variability the condition of girls and women.
Low level of education and early marriage of women are main reasons for poor nutritional outcomes.
Therefore, the need of the hour is to focus on every state equally so that all states are at par with each other in terms of health standards.

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