World Health Organization
Infant and Child Nutrition
Malnutrition is a large health issue in the world, with a child under the age of five dying from malnutrition or a disease caused by malnutrition every 4 minutes, or 2.1 million children a year. Malnutrition does not only mean that these children lack any food, vitamins, or nutrients, but obesity is a part of malnutrition as well. Not only is malnutrition dangerous in itself, but it makes it easier for children and infants to contract diseases that their young immune systems cannot fight off. In order for infants and children to reach their full potential later in life, it is necessary that they receive proper nutrition when they are young, such as being breastfed for at least the first six months of their life and making sure that every child is receiving the correct amount of macronutrients in their daily diet. Proper nutrients are needed in order for a child to greatly succeed in school as well as later into their adult life.
It is estimated that at least 30 percent of the world’s malnourished children live in India, with around one thousand children dying a day in India from Diarrhea alone. It has been found that at least 60 percent of the children living in India have one of the two forms of malnutrition. Only six percent of infants under the age of six months are breastfed according to UNICEF. With the large and still increasing population of India along with an unstable government and one of the largest poverty rates in the world, it is very hard for Indians to stay healthy as well as find the nutrients they need for themselves, let alone their children and infants.
In December of 2017, the country of India approved a plan to combat national malnutrition with a cost of 1.4 billion dollars that will be used over the span of three years. The World Bank estimates that malnutrition alone costs India a loss of twelve million dollars in productivity, and the country of India is open to any programs or aid that will assist this country in combating this problem.
- Maddie Meader