Research mapping global malnutrition trends has revealed that overweight and obesity is rapidly rising among all age groups. India has the third-highest number of obese and overweight people (11% of adolescents, and 20% of all adults) after US and China.
The Malnutrition Mapping Project launched by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in partnership with Amway revealed the global burden of malnutrition in all its forms.
The study included data from more than 30 countries representing low, middle and high incomes and provided an easy path to country-by-country statistics and insights on nutritional challenges. The study found that a total of 56 per 1000 children die before their 5th birthday, and 47.9% of children under the age of five are stunted. Half of pregnant women and 74% children under the age of five are anemic.
The project highlights the global challenge represented by the double burden of undernutrition and overweight and obesity. In some countries, there are decreasing rates of undernutrition. But undernutrition remains high in many low and middle-income countries, threatening the survival and healthy development of children.
In India, undernutrition is the leading risk factor for death in children under the age of five. According to the study, the causes of childhood malnutrition in India are vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as poor breastfeeding practices. Only 46% of babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.
At the same time, many countries are experiencing high rates of overweight and obesity.
Dominic Schofield, Director and Senior Technical Advisor, GAIN, said, "This double burden of malnutrition is a serious global challenge and one that we can't meet unless we have strong data. We need to build a clearer picture of where people are and what their nutritional status is in order to effectively target interventions."
The project aimed to create awareness of malnutrition in all its forms so that political, health and business leaders can come up with solutions and implement the solutions to fight against malnutrition.