The results of the country’s first National Nutritional Survey conducted by the Union Ministry of Health show that only 6.4 percent of children up to the age of 2 years get the minimum acceptable diet. However, this figure is different in different states across the country. In Andhra Pradesh, where the number of such children is just 1.3 percent, in Sikkim, the number of such children is 35.9 percent.
Children up to 2 years old are not getting enough food
States that are considered being highly developed based on other standards are far behind in providing adequate food to children. For example, in Maharashtra, only 2.2 percent of children up to 2 years of age can get a complete diet, while Gujarat, Telangana, and Karnataka have 3.6 percent and 4.2 percent in Tamil Nadu. Here, Kerala is second in the country where 32.6 percent of children up to 2 years of age can get a complete diet.
Children received food from 4 out of 7 food groups
The minimum acceptable diet for children between 6 and 23 months of age includes feeding 2–3 times a day for lactating babies and 4 times for non-lactating children. Under the recommended dietary diversity, children must get food from at least 4 different food groups out of 7 food groups. They are 7 food groups – 1. Cereals, tubers, basic 2. Eggs 3. Dairy products 4. Pulses and nuts 5. Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A. 6. Meat foods such as meats and fish 7. Other vegetables and fruits
35% of children up to 5 years of age are weak and low height
The results, released by the Union Health Ministry, also show that about 35 percent of children up to 5 years of age across the country are weak and low according to their age. About 17 percent of the children in this age group are underweight according to their height while 33 percent of the children are underweight, which means they are underweight by age, while only 2 percent are overweight or obese. They also found about 11 percent of these children to be malnourished.
10 percent of children are pre-diabetic
So 22 percent of the children in the age group of 5 to 9 years are underweight, 10 percent are underweight and only 4 percent are overweight or obese. However, this situation is slowly improving and efforts are being made to improve the nutrition level of children in India. Poverty and dietary restrictions play an important role in not providing adequate food to children. Not only this, but the survey results also show that about 10 percent of the school-going children are pre-diabetic is vulnerable to the initial symptoms of diabetes.