Control of Malnutrition




There is no new criteria by WHO to control the problem of malnutrition. However,

WHO has proposed new WHO Child Growth Standards to identify malnutrition in children. These Standards have been adopted by Government of India w.e.f. 15.8.08 following the recommendations of the National Workshop on the Adoption of new WHO Child Growth Standards organized jointly by Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with WHO and UNICEF collaboration on 8-9 February, 2007 at New Delhi.

The new WHO Child Growth Standards are better than the earlier NCHS standards as these are based on the growth of breastfed children (which is the norm for healthy growth) from six countries and show that all children grow equally given the right Infant and Young child feeding, appropriate feeding practices, health and nutrition inputs & environment. The earlier NCHS standards were based on growth of children receiving mixed feeding i.e. artificially fed as well as breastfed and were based on children in one country only (USA).

Malnutrition in children under 3 years has declined from 42.7% in NFHS-2 (1998-99) to 40.4% as per NFHS-3 (2005-06). However, anemia has increased from 74.2% to 78.9% in children and from 51.8% to 56.2% in women during the same period. Supplementary nutrition under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) is not the only intervention to handle the problem of malnutrition which is a multifaceted problem needing convergence of interventions, coordination and concerted action from various sectors. ICDS programme has been universalized to reach all habitations including tribal and rural areas. There are 11.83 lakhs Anganwadi centres/ mini Anganwadi Centres operational as on 31.05.2010 out of 13.67 lakhs sanctioned Anganwadi Centres.

Under ICDS programme pregnant and lactating women are given take home ration

to provide 500 kcal and 18 to 20 g.m. protein per day per beneficiary. The reproductive and

child health programme under NRHM provides for immunization and other health services

for pregnant women among various other measures.

This information was given by Smt. Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Women and Child Development.



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