NITI Aayog, UNICEF launch nutrition profiles for 19 states, UTs that map out performance across districts

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Each states nutrition profile has included key takeaways for children, women and men and identified areas for further improvement.

NITI Aayog, UNICEF launch nutrition profiles for 19 states, UTs that map out performance across districts

The indicators analysed in these profiles include wasting, stunting, anaemia, underweight and overweight and NCDs (Diabetes and High blood pressure). Image Credit: Venkataramesh Kommoju/Uni of Toronto

NITI Aayog has launched ‘The State Nutrition Profiles’ (SNPs) campaign for 19 states and Union Territories (UT). It has collaborated with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Indian Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS), UNICEF and Institute of Economic Growth (IEG).

These profiles give us an insight into the nutrition outcomes of the states which include the immediate and underlying determinants and interventions based on National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4 (2015-2016) and 5 (2019-2020). According to a press release, they are a “comprehensive compilation of crucial data that can positively affect policy decisions and facilitate research in the area.”

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The State nutrition profiles were released on 30 September by Dr Rakesh Sarwal, Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog during a webinar titled “Towards progress on nutrition in India: Insights from National Family Health Survey” organized by IFPRI.

The indicators analysed in these profiles include wasting, stunting, anaemia, being underweight and overweight and NCDs (Diabetes and High blood pressure).

The profiles show the performance across districts in each state and UT while highlighting the best and worst-performing, highest burden and top coverage districts.

Each states nutrition profile has included key takeaways for children, women and men and identified areas for further improvement.

Undernourishment is a serious cause of concern for women between the age of 15-49 years. In Maharashtra, the profile shows that from 2019-2020, 46 percent of pregnant women were anaemic which is a small drop from the 58 percent it was at during 2005-06.

However, 55 percent of non-pregnant women in the same age group are anaemic and 21 percent are underweight.

On the other hand, from the under-nourished children during 2019-2020 who were five years and younger, 69 percent were anaemic, 36 percent were underweight. Eleven percent of the kids were severely wasting while 26 percent were wasting and 35 percent were stunting.

According to WHO, wasting means when a child is too thin for their height. This is the result of recent rapid weight loss or the failure to gain weight. A child who is moderately or severely wasted has an increased risk of death, but they can be treated.

Stunting, WHO explains is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.

According to the SNPs, Thane (359.615), Nashik (235,325), Pune (230,914), Mumbai Suburban (229,629) and Solapur (130,435) are the district in Maharashtra with the highest number of stunted children under five years old.

Thane (537,615), Pune (396,620), Mumbai Suburban (363,757), Nashik (337,127) and Jalgaon (271,956) districts have the highest number of anaemic children. This data comes from the NFHS 5 in the year 2019-2020.

The districts of Pune (236,180), Thane (156,891) and Nashik (151,679) are the top three districts that have wasting children while Pune (105,303), Nagpur (66,875) and Nashik (63,571) have the most kids suffering from severe wasting.

Thane, Nashik and Pune are the top three districts that have both children and women who are underweight.

According to the Maharashtra analysis, in 2019-2020, four percent of children under five years are overweight.

Similarly, among women between the ages of 15-49 years of age, 23 percent are overweight, 19 percent suffer from high blood pressure and six percent have high blood sugar.

On the other hand, among men in the same age group, 25 percent are overweight, 21 percent suffer from high BP and seven percent have high blood sugar.

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