India Under Serious Burden Of Undernutrition: Report

An 11-year-old girl in Jharkhand’s Simdega district has died of starvation

Report by Vinod Kumar

India is facing a serious burden of under nutrition, according to a global report released today which shows that more than half the women of reproductive age in the country suffer from anemia.
The Global Nutrition Report 2017, which looked at 140 countries including India, found ‘significant burdens’ of three important forms of malnutrition used as an indicator of broader trends.
More than 22 per cent of adult women are overweight, a rising concern as women are disproportionately affected by the global obesity epidemic, according to the report.

While the country has shown some progress in addressing under-5 stunting, it has made no progress or presents worse outcomes in the percentage of reproductive-age women with anaemia, and is off-course in terms of reaching targets for reducing adult obesity and diabetes, the report said.

According to the recently released Global Nutrition Report 2017, over 50% of Indian women aged 15-49 are found to be anaemic. 

Dr. Manish Banker, Director, Nova IVI Fertility emphasises the need to prevent anaemia in order to reduce the risk of infertility. He says, “Iron deficiency is becoming increasingly common among women today, and the resulting anaemia has major impacts on the health of women who are in the reproductive age. High incidence of anaemia creates severe health hazards, with infertility being one of the problems. Low iron levels in the body affect the health of the egg to be fertilised, thereby interfering with women’s ability to get pregnant. Some of the researchers have found that women who take appropriate iron supplements have 50 percent less risk of ovulatory infertility, the inability to produce healthy and viable eggs.”

 “In our clinics, we see that around 10% of infertile women are anaemic. It is important that patients focus on curbing anaemia and nutritional deficiencies as one of the first steps towards treating infertility and achieving a healthy pregnancy. In addition to taking iron supplements, women should also increase the intake of vitamin C, folic acid, and vitamin B12 which are found in citrus fruits, leafy vegetables and milk products. This will make sure that adequate iron is absorbed by the body, and that there are enough nutrients to build healthy red blood cells and enhance fertility,’’ Dr. Manish Banker adds.


Vinod Kumar

Health Journalist & writer. Editor of monthly health magazine "Health Spectrum."

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