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Child and Maternal Nutrition in the Granary of India: A Study on Vulnerable in Punjab
Authors: Sharma Shalini, Kaur Ranjeet, and Sidhu Simran K
Source: Indian Journal of Economics and Development, 14(1a): 549-554; DOI: 10.5958/2322-0430.2018.00110.5
Topic(s): Anemia
Child health
Maternal health
Women's health
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2018
Abstract: Elimination of stunting was set as a goal to meet the challenge of ‘Zero Hunger ’by the UN Secretary General and an important goal for sustainable development. The group of eight (G8) industrialized nations have also considered that investment in nutrition is the most effective way to achieve the objective of global welfare. Though Punjab is considered as the Granary of India and has been most dynamic in making the nation a food self-sufficient one but ironically, the nutritional status of its own people especially the vulnerable is not satisfactory. Children and women are susceptible to malnutrition due to low dietary intakes, infectious diseases, lack of appropriate care, and inequitable distribution of food within the household. An attempt had been made to gauge the nutritional status of the underprivileged section in Punjab. The study relied upon the data given in various issues of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-1, 2, 3, and 4 rounds), Census data, District Level Household& Facility Survey (DLHS-1, 2, 3, and 4) conducted by International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS) and various state level reports. The study found that though there was decline in percentages of stunted and underweight children, but there was increase in percentage of those suffering from wasting during the reference period. The state fares badly as for intake of micronutrients was concerned which was lower than the Recommended Dietary Intake amongst children and women. More than 50 percent of its children and more than 80 percent of its women folk were anemic. In addition, there existed gender, regional and caste based gaps in the nutritional status, thwarting the very goal of sustainable development. The causes of persistent undernutrition were deep-rooted, related to discrimination, inequality. Keywords Anemia, malnutrition, nutritional status of women and children, poverty