Nutrition Challenges in India - An Overview

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Adequate Nutrition is essential for human development. Malnutrition includes both undernutrition as well as over-nutrition and refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in the intake of energy, protein and/or other nutrients.

A review of trends in economic growth, health and nutrition indicates that the country is undergoing rapid socioeconomic, demographic, nutritional and health transitions. Undernutrition continues to be persistently high in India and remains a challenge. Some of the major nutritional challenges in India are

  • High levels of adult undernutrition affecting one-third of the country's adults
  • High levels of child undernutrition, affecting almost every second child
  • High levels of maternal undernutrition, leading to low birth-weights
  • Inappropriate and sub-optimal infant and young child feeding and caring practices
  • Issues relating to prevention of illnesses and access to healthcare
  • Low awareness regarding nutrition and use of local nutritious food including sources of nutrients
  • Inadequate attention to health and nutrition of adolescent girls
  • Inadequate access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities



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  • Indian Academny of Pediatrics
  • HealthPhone
  • Vodafone India
  • Ministry of Women and Child Development
  • UNICEF India

About IAP HealthPhone

An initiative of HealthPhone™, conducted under the aegis of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNICEF, Aamir Khan and with support from Vodafone.

The objective of this nationwide campaign against malnutrition is to address issues of status of women, the care of pregnant mothers and children under two, breastfeeding and the importance of balanced nutrition and health. The focus is on women between 13 and 35 years of age and their family members.


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