TODAY -

Child Nutrition and their future

B Sadananda Sharma *



Most of the parents want their children to be bright, sharp and intelligent wants them to do better than other children. Also now a day’s giving early education is quite a trend and fashion, parents focus on giving education which is a pressure cooker system of Education in our present scenario.

A student has to spend most of their time in schools and extra coaching and at home they have to cover up assignment, homework even for upcoming examinations. With this much load and pressure are we giving them enough proper balanced diets, or nutritious food to be able to grow their brain and energy?

Researchers believe one of the major causes for malnutrition in India is economic inequality, is it true? What is the link between a mother and child’s undernutrition?

We need to understand the fact that undernutrition puts children at a greater risk of disease vulnerability, also adversely affects their physical, cognitive, and mental development, may adversely impact productivity in later life and increase economic inequality.

Even though India is among the fast-growing economy also our country is under the largest anti-malnutrition programme. Still, India has the world’s worst level of child malnutrition. It is said that more than one third of the world’s malnourished children live in India. To be precise half of children under age of 3 are underweight and third of wealthiest children are over-nutrient.

According to Global Nutrition Report (GNP) 2020 in context of Covid-19, the virus does not treat them equally. Undernourished people have weaker immune systems, and may be at greater risk of severe illness due to the virus. At the same time, poor metabolic health, including obesity and diabetes, is strongly linked to worse Covid-19 outcomes, including risk of hospitalisation and death.

While most of the Government focusing in containing the virus in turn caused food and nutrition shortages and driven governments to reduce social services, such as school nutrition programmes, that the most marginalised rely upon. In the context of food and nutrition shortages, accessibility and affordability of healthy, sustainably produced food becomes even more challenging.

Improvements in child health are a key indicator of progress towards the third goal of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. According to Research, most of the poor nutritional outcomes of Indian children are occurring in the context of high economic growth rates, but with low levels of maternal autonomy.

An improvement in maternal autonomy is expected to improve a mother’s ability to make decisions regarding her children’s health and nutrition; and a more autonomous mother is also likely to have greater access to resources, may lead to the adoption of healthy and diversified diets, improve the nutritional content of diets, contribute to better food hygiene and sanitation, and thereby reduce the risk of infection and disease.

Since undernutrition is the outcome of insufficient food intake and repeated infectious diseases, it is necessary to understand the links between household-level socio-economic factors and the extent to which it manifests into poor nutritional outcomes for children.

As per GNP 2020 in order to tackle injustices in food and health systems and to fix the global nutrition crisis rightly, one of their primary approach focusing on food and health. It is said that we must address inequities in food systems, from production to consumption. Current food systems do not enable people to make healthy food choices.

The vast majority of people today simply cannot access or afford a healthy diet. The reasons for this are complex. Existing agriculture systems are largely focused on an overabundance of staple grains like rice, wheat and maize, rather than producing a broader range of more diverse and healthier foods, like fruits, nuts and vegetables.

Meanwhile, highly processed foods are available, cheap and intensively marketed; their sales are still high in high-income countries and growing fast in upper-middle- and lower-middle-income countries.

Also, we also need to focus on children nutrition inequities in health systems providing quality nutrition care for prevention or treatment in early stages. At the same time, health records and checks are to be optimised to screen, monitor and treat malnutrition, such as through assessments of diet quality and food security.

A well strengthened and dedicated governance, coordination, political commitment and accountability is crucial to address nutrition inequities, as further emphasised by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (CSDH):

In order to address health inequities, and inequitable conditions of daily living, it is necessary to address inequities – such as those between men and women – in the way society is organized...To achieve that requires more than strengthened government – it requires strengthened governance: legitimacy, space, and support for civil society, for an accountable private sector, and for people across society to agree public interests and reinvest in the value of collective action.

Also, many Government policies to avail improved water, foods and sanitation facility to public and female literacy need to be continued. It is also important to provide that all the benefits of both infrastructure and more general economic and health sectors development are to be spread more evenly across districts and locality actively.

When implementing a policy or scheme, government should identify the problem first, then how to fix the problem, later on should decide how much it will impact in a society. The overall performance of the scheme should be deeply analysed.

A timely and proper analysis of any programme will enable in smooth running of programme in future too. While money is being spent the government and concern official should focus on reaching every single rupee to targeted families.

A scheme or programme without any target is just like pouring water outside the cup, where resources are spent without its effectiveness. One thing is clear that many self serving people and agents inside our society which acts as a middle man making a huge profit out of all these welfare schemes and policy. And common people being bargain by shutting their voices with some mere supplies.

When the voices of common people are being suppressed like this a new form of cancer is being born every day. And to everyone understanding we knew deep inside our mind that all this factors undermines in development process.


* B Sadananda Sharma wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on January 05 2021.



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