How 149.2 Million Stunted Kids Spotlight Global Nutrition Crisis  During a Overnutrition Epidemic 

March 8, 2024
1 min read

Children are the wealth of the world. But many of them suffer due to undernutrition. The prevalence of undernutrition is highest among children under 5. In 2021, 149.2 million children under five years old were stunted, and 45.4 million of them were wasted. Meanwhile, 38.9 million of them were either overweight or obese. The same year, an estimated 45% of deaths in children were linked to undernutrition. Malnutrition occurs when an organism gets too few or too many nutrients, resulting in health problems. Specifically, it is a deficiency, excess, or imbalance of energy, protein, and other nutrients which adversely affects the body’s tissues and form.

Malnutrition is not receiving the correct amount of nutrition. It is increasing in children under the age of five due to providers who cannot afford or do not have access to adequate nutrition. Malnutrition is a category of diseases that include undernutrition and overnutrition. Undernutrition is a lack of nutrients, which can result in stunted growth, wasting, and underweight. A surplus of nutrients causes overnutrition which can result in obesity. In some developing countries, overnutrition in the form of obesity is beginning to appear within the same communities as undernutrition.

Most clinical studies use the term ‘malnutrition’ to refer to undernutrition. However, the use of ‘malnutrition’ instead of ‘undernutrition’ makes it impossible to distinguish between undernutrition and overnutrition, a less acknowledged form of malnutrition. According to a 2019 report by the Lancet Commission, expanding the definition of malnutrition to include “all its forms, including obesity, undernutrition, and other dietary risks is a good idea. The WHO (World Health Organization) and the Lancet Commission have identified the double burden of malnutrition, which occurs from the coexistence of overnutrition (overweight and obesity) alongside undernutrition (stunted growth and wasting).

Improving agricultural practices, reducing poverty, and providing sanitation awareness are some of the measures to prevent malnutrition. Improved nutrition, supplementation, ready-to-use therapeutic foods, and treating the underlying causes are some of the forms of treatment. Malnutrition is a worldwide problem. All governments, the UN, and voluntary organizations have to come together to solve the problem of malnutrition. According to the famous Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, our body is the primary instrument to perform our duties: “Shareermadyam Khalu dharma sadhanam.” A sound mind lives in a sound body: “Mens Sana In Corpore Sano.”

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Sunita Narain's tribute to D'Monte at Mumbai's lecture could signal a pivotal moment for environmental activism.
Previous Story

Can Narain’s Tribute to D’Monte Ignite an Environmental Awakening? Insights from Mumbai’s Lecture

woman holding tray with rice, Women, Work, Mangalore, India, working,
Next Story

Beyond Earnings: Why a Rs 1 Million Salary Isn’t Enough for Financial Freedom for Women

Latest from Health