Malnourishment horror: In India, 39 percent of children are stunted, says report
New Delhi, June 7: It's a very terrible picture portrayed about children of India in the latest Save the Children report released on May 31.
According to the findings of the survey--Stolen Childhoods, End of Childhood report 2017--in India 39 percent of kids have stunted growth, which means 48 million children in the country suffer from impaired growth mostly due to malnutrition.
These children are under the age of five, as per the report of the international non-profit organisation based in the United States.
"156 million children under age 5 in the world are stunted. In Kenya, 26 percent of children are stunted, in Uganda 34 percent, in Malawi 37 percent, in India 39 percent and in Yemen 47 percent," read the report.
It means India with 39 percent stunted children is just next to the Democratic Republic of Congo at 43 percent, Pakistan at 45 percent and Yemen at 47 percent.
The report also comes with a serious warning about how because of malnutrition countries are facing various economic challenges.
"Malnutrition costs countries billions of dollars in lost productivity and creates serious economic challenges for developing countries like these that struggle to compete with large portions of their workforces stunted," added the report.
What is stunted growth?
As per the World Health Organisation, stunting is the impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate psychosocial stimulation.
Children are defined as stunted if their height-for-age is more than two standard deviations below the WHO Child Growth Standards median.
Stunted growth as explained by the report
A young child who does not get enough food and nutrients cannot grow properly and can become too short for his/her age.
This condition is called "stunting" and it prevents children from developing to their full potential, both mentally and physically. Stunted growth is caused by chronic malnutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child's life (from the start of pregnancy to age 2).
Boys are more stunted than girls
According to the report, stunting rates are higher for boys than for girls. But cultural factors--such as a preference for the eldest son in many South Asian countries--can lead to differences in the nutritional status of older girls.
Up to half of all adolescent girls are stunted in some countries. In India, one-third of girls aged 15-19 are stunted. In Bangladesh, it's 44 percent and in Guatemala it is 52 percent.
Read the full report here.