Global Hunger Index 2019: India ranked lower than neighboring countries
India is ranked 102 of 117 countries in the Global Hunger Index 2019, behind its neighbours Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.In 2018, it was ranked 103 out of 119 countries. In 2000, the country was ranked 83 out of 113 countries. Now, with 117 countries in the fray, it has dropped to 102.
- The share of wasting among children in India rose from 16.5% in the 2008-2012 period to 20.8% in 2014-2018, according to the report.
- Just 9.6% of all children between 6 and 23 months of age are fed a “minimum acceptable diet”, the report said. “India’s child wasting rate is extremely high at 20.8%, the highest for any country in this report,” it said.
- However, India has shown improvement in other indicators such as the under-5 mortality rate, prevalence of stunting among children and prevalence of undernourishment owing to inadequate food, the report said.
- The report also mentions the central government’s Swachh Bharat programme, saying open defecation is still being practised.
Neighbouring countries like Nepal (73), Sri Lanka (66), Bangladesh (88), Myanmar (69) and Pakistan (94) are also in the ‘serious’ hunger category, but have fared better at feeding its citizens than India, according to the report. China (25) has moved to a ‘low’ severity category and Sri Lanka is in the ‘moderate’ severity category.
The GHI slots countries on a scale ranging from “low” hunger to “moderate”, “serious”, “alarming”, and “extremely alarming”. India is one of the 47 countries that have “serious” levels of hunger.
The GHI score is calculated on four indicators — undernourishment; child wasting, the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition); child stunting, children under the age of five who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition; and child mortality, the mortality rate of children under the age of five.
LEARNING WITH TIMES
For several decades India was dealing with only one form of malnutrition– undernutrition. In the last decade, now faces the double burden which includes both over- and undernutrition,
What is malnutrition?
Malnutrition is the condition that develops when the body does not get the right amount of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function. The term malnutrition covers 2 broad groups of conditions.
One is ‘undernutrition’—which includes stunting (low height for age;It is is associated with an underdeveloped brain, poor learning capacity, and increased nutrition-related diseases.), wasting (low weight for height;It is associated with decreased fat mass. Also known as wasting syndrome, it causes muscle and fat tissue to waste away.), underweight (low weight for age) and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals).
The other is overweight, obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer).
Children who are already undernourished can suffer from protein-energy malnutrition (PEM).
Two types of PEM are— Kwashiorkor and Marasmus.