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9 In 10 Children's Diet Could Be Deficient In Essential Nutrients: Study

Despite tremendous economic progress, India remains home to 184 million undernourished people, many of them young growing children causing serious concerns at the alarming hunger levels

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India ranked 97th out of the 118 countries on the Global Hunger Index 2016, with widespread hunger levels, faring worse in comparison to the neighbouring countries - China (29), Nepal (72), Myanmar (75), Sri Lanka (84) and Bangladesh (90).

Despite tremendous economic progress, India remains home to 184 million undernourished people, many of them young growing children causing serious concerns at the alarming hunger levels.

A Bangalore-based study conducted amongst 634 school-going children, drawn equally from the various socio-economic classes, found that up to 95 per cent could be at risk of inadequate micronutrient intake, with almost 70 per cent at risk of having an insufficient intake of four or more micronutrients.

The intake of nutrients that were most inadequate in the Bangalore study was vitamin A, folate, vitamin b12 and iron, leaving children susceptible to stunting, weakened immune systems impaired cognitive function, anaemia, low energy levels and other devastating effects of hidden hunger.

Micronutrient deficiency, also known as hidden hunger, is the key underlining issue and can be explained by inadequate intake of crucial vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin A and folate which are needed for healthy mental and physical growth of children.

Considering how important better-nourished children are to maximising India’s developmental potential, working with parents for better childhood nutrition is increasingly becoming an imperative and not just an option. Empowering ordinary mothers and fathers to lead the charge to spread awareness and act can only hasten efforts to make hidden hunger a thing of the past.


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