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Home > News > PTI

Every second child in UP undernourished: Study

Abhinav Pandey in Lucknow | October 05, 2006 12:36 IST

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Every second child in Uttar Pradesh is undernourished and every third new-born is underweight, according to a study by the National Institute of Nutrition.

In more than half of the districts of the state, the prevalance of undernutrition in children between 1-5 years is between 50 to 75 percent, it said, adding that every second child in the state is 'undernourished'.

The state ranked fourth with respect to prevalance of underweight children under three years of age while stunted
growth prevalence in the state is the highest in the country, the study said.

Every third infant in the state is born low weight, less than 2.5 kilogram, it said.

Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for 8.3 million undernourished children in India, of which approximately 3.3 million are severely undernorourished, the study said.

The immediate cause of undernutrition is lack of proper intake of food, made worse especially in children by infections
like measles, diarrhoea and sepsis, the study said.

Inadequate dietary intake and infection operate in a vicious circle, it said.

When children do not eat enough either qualitatively or quantitatively, their immune system defence is lowered, making them more vulnerable to infections and at the same time increase the duration and severity of infection, according to
the study.

Poor personal and food hygiene, combined with lack of ready access to safe drinking water and environmental sanitation, contributed to diarrhoea, which is an important cause of malnutrition and direct cause of childhood
mortality, it said.

The study says that malnutrition in a girl child continues into adulthood and later into pregnancy.

The state governemnt has launched an ambitious 'Mission Poshan' (mission nutrition) programme which focuses on
accelerating efforts for reduction of undernutrition.

The lessons learnt from the initiatives in this regard between 1999-2006 have been analysed and incorporated in the
'Mission Poshan', said Balvinder Kaur, secretary, department of women and child development.

The department has given special focus to undernourished, especially pregnant women and lactating mothers, and defined daily, weekly and biannual activities that will result in intensification of child health and nutrition activities, she said.

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