Swaroop Kumar Sahu1, S Ganesh Kumar1, B Vishnu Bhat2, KC Premarajan1, Sonali Sarkar1, Gautam Roy1, Nitin Joseph3
1Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
2Department of Pediatrics, JIPMER, Puducherry, India
3Department of Community Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
Malnutrition among under-five children is an important concern for the health authorities in India. The aim of the present review was to assess the burden of under-nutrition and over-nutrition, its determinants and strategies required to tackle malnutrition among under-five children in India. Recent data were collected from Google search, Medline, and others. The information retrieved was reviewed and analyzed for discrepancies. Existing evidence shows that the prevalence of under-nutrition among under-five children was high and varied widely (under-weight: 39-75%, stunting: 15.4-74%, wasting: 10.6-42.3%) depending on the assessment methodology adopted. Studies on assessment of over-nutrition status among under-five children were limited. Distribution of various types of risk factors and its influence on nutrition status of children in a given set up should be analyzed for planning the control measures. Strengthening public health interventions for mild malnutrition cases and vulnerable groups, effective implementation and evaluation of the strategies at regional level, research on overweight, obesity and its etiological factors and steps for improving socioeconomic development are the prerequisites for tackling malnutrition among under-five children in India.
Keywords: Malnutrition, strategies, under-five children, India.