New Delhi: Of the 1.04 million under five deaths in India in 2017, over 7 lakh (706,000) can be attributed to malnutrition, reveals the findings of the India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative’s report. The report covers in detail the disease burden of child and maternal malnutrition and trends across different states from 1990 to 2017. The findings released on September 18 highlights the status of all states and union territories in terms of child stunting (low height for age), low birth weight, child underweight, overweight, exclusive breastfeeding, child anaemia and women anaemia. For this analysis, the report considered the total population of under-five children and women aged 15-49 years in India.
Here Are The Key Findings Of The Global Burden Of Disease Study 1990-2017 On Nutrition And Health Of Mother And Child In India:
1. Malnutrition In India
Number of children under the age of five dying due to malnutrition has dropped by two-thirds from 1990 to 2017. Despite the huge drop in malnutrition deaths, it continues to be an underlying risk factor for 68 per cent of the deaths among children under the age of five in India. It is also a leading risk factor for disease burden in persons of all ages contributing 17 per cent of the total DALYs (disability-adjusted life years).
What Is DALY?
The disability-adjusted life year (DALY) is a measure of overall disease burden, expressed as the number of years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death. One DALY can be thought of as one lost year of a healthy life.
The major reason behind malnutrition resulting in diseases and death in children under five years in India is neonatal (newborn from birth to 28 days) disorders which is then followed by lower respiratory infections, and diarrhoeal diseases.
The DALY rate (disease burden) attributable to malnutrition in children is highest in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam, followed by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Nagaland and Tripura.
2. Low Birth Weight
Low birth weight is defined as the birth weight less than 2.5 kg. Among the malnutrition indicators, low birth weight is the largest contributor to child deaths in India, followed by child growth failure which includes stunting, underweight, and wasting. In 2017, the prevalence of low birth weight among children under five was 21.4 per cent, which is an improvement from 23.1 per cent in 2010.
3. Child Growth Failure
Child growth failure is an umbrella term that includes child wasting (low weight for height), stunting (low height for age) and underweight. In 2017, child stunting, child wasting, and underweight in the country witnessed a downward trend. While child stunting among dropped from 47.3 per cent in 2010 to 39.3 per cent in 2017, child wasting fell from 17.1 per cent in 2010 to 15.7 per cent in 2017. The percentage of underweight children in the country had a sharp decline from 40.9 per cent in 2010 to 32.7 per cent in 2017.
In 2017, child stunting was generally highest in the EAG (Empowered Action Group) states which include Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Rajasthan and Assam.
4. Child Overweight
An abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat in the body that poses risk to the individual’s health is known as being overweight or obese. In 2017, the prevalence of child overweight was 11.5 per cent, up from 8.1 per cent in 2010. The continuous rise in prevalence of overweight children in India is a matter of concern as adverse effects on health during early childhood can have long term, adverse effects on health during the later phase of life.
Child overweight parameter was highest in Telangana, the youngest state of India but it is rapidly increasing in all other states. This annual rate of increase between 1990 and 2017 was 5 per cent in India.
5. Anaemia Among Children Under Five
In 2017, 59.7 per cent of children under five years of age were recorded as anaemic (low haemoglobin (Hb) levels) whereas in 2010, the percentage of child anaemia was at 67.8 per cent. A drop of 8.1 per cent was noted over a period of seven years. The annual rate of reduction between 1990 and 2017 was 1.8 per cent.
6. Anaemia In Women
In seven years, the prevalence of anaemia in women dropped by 2.7 per cent; from 57.1 per cent in 2010 to 54.4 per cent in 2017. The annual rate of reduction was 0.7 per cent between 1990 and 2017. Among states, anaemia in women ranged from 28.5 per cent in Mizoram to 65 per cent in Haryana.
7. Exclusive Breastfeeding
In 2017, the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding was at 53 per cent, ranging from 34.2 per cent in Meghalaya to 74.3 per cent in Chhattisgarh. Exclusive breastfeeding is imperative for both mother and newborn and the only way of providing young infants with the essential nutrients required for their growth and development in the first six months. The breastfeeding increased by 4.3 per cent (2010: 49 per cent). The annual rate of increase in exclusive breastfeeding between 1990 and 2017 was 1.2 per cent.