India is home to 46.6 million stunted children, a third of world’s total as per Global Nutrition Report 2018. Nearly half of all under-5 child mortality in India is attributable to undernutrition. Any country cannot aim to attain economic and social development goals without addressing the issue of malnutrition. Poor nutrition in the first 1000 days of a child’s life can also lead to stunted growth, which is associated with impaired cognitive ability and reduced school and work performance. Malnutrition in children occurs as a complex interplay among various factors like poverty, maternal health illiteracy, diseases like diarrhoea, home environment, dietary practices, hand washing and other hygiene practices, etc. Low birth weight, episode of diarrhoea within the last 6 months and the presence of developmental delay are often associated with malnutrition in most developing nations including India. This chapter is a small attempt to highlight the state of malnutrition in India and tries to get an insight to overcome the problem. This chapter also highlights the issues and challenges for not obtaining the desired nutritional outcomes. It also provides an insight that this issue can be addressed by adopting comprehensive, coordinated and holistic approach with good governance and help of civil society.
Part of the book: Perspective of Recent Advances in Acute Diarrhea