Malnutrition is a universal issue that is holding the development of humans with unacceptable consequences. Yet the opportunity to end malnutrition has never been greater in the world. The UN A decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide global and national motivates to address malnutrition and accelerate progress.
Children under five years of age face multiple burdens: 150.8 million are stunted, 50.5 million are wasted and 38.3 million are overweight. Meanwhile, 20 million babies are born of low birth weight each year. Overweight and obesity among adults are being increased and are at record levels with 38.9% of adults overweight or obese, stretching from Africa to North America, and increasing among adolescents. Even doctors and government are providing guidelines the rate of malnutrition is keeping on increasing in the world.
Women have a higher burden than men when it comes to certain forms of malnutrition: one-third of all women of reproductive age have anemia and women have a higher prevalence of obesity than men. Millions of women are still underweight. Yet significant steps are being made to address malnutrition and steps are been taken to prevent the population from obesity. Advances in data are enabling us to progress our understanding of the nature of the burden of malnutrition in all its forms and its causes – and therefore guide and inspire action and improve our ability to track progress.
The reasons for poor nutrition is on account of multiple factors, which show significant interstate and intrastate disparities. These include the prevalence of poverty, inadequate availability of foodgrains and pulses, the absence of vital nutrients in the diet, ineffective public distribution mechanisms and unequal distribution, the relative status of women within the household, lack of access to clean water and poor sanitation, as well as genetic and environmental causes. While there has been a lack of concerted political will on the part of successive governments and the existing systems and policies have been unable to effectively deliver results, the current predicament has been due to the combination of both these factors.