Forty-seven percent of children under three years of age are underweight or malnourished in India, with Madhya Pradesh topping the tally followed closely by Bihar and Orissa.
Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha Monday that the national average of children below three suffering from malnutrition had fallen from 52 percent in 1993 to 47 percent in 1999.
Quoting the National Family Health Survey of 1999, the minister said Madhya Pradesh had 55.1 percent children who were underweight, followed by Bihar and Orissa, both at 54.4 percent.
At the end of the tally was Sikkim (20.6 percent) and Arunachal Pradesh (24.3 percent).
In northern India, Rajasthan topped the list with 50.6 percent, followed by Himachal Pradesh (43.6 percent). In Delhi, 34.7 percent of all children suffer from lack of proper nutrition. Maharashtra's tally was 49.6 percent and Karnataka's 43.9 percent.