Union Minister for Women and Child Development has informed the Rajya Sabha that the Central government aims to reduce stunting and under-nutrition (underweight prevalence) among children under 6 years by 2% per annum.


What did the government say?

  • The Union Minister stated that the government aims to reduce —
      • low birth weight by 2% per annum, and
      • Anaemia among children between six and 59 months, as well as women and adolescent girls (15 to 49 years), by 3% per annum.
        • Anaemia is a medical condition in which the blood doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells.
  • The Union Minister also highlighted data with respect to NFHS-5 –
      • Meghalaya has the highest number of stunted children (46.5%), followed by Bihar (42.9%).
      • Maharashtra has 25.6% wasted children (weight for height) — the highest — followed by Gujarat (25.1%).
      • Jharkhand has the highest percentage of women (26%), between 15 and 49 years, who have a below-normal Body Mass Index (BMI). Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.


Key highlights of National Family Health Survey-5

  • The report comprises of detailed information on key domains of population, such as — health and family welfare; fertility; family planning; infant and child mortality; maternal and child health; nutrition and anaemia; morbidity and healthcare; women’s empowerment etc.
  • Key results from NFHS-5 –
      • Institutional Births have increased substantially from 79 percent to 89 percent in India.
      • Stunting has reduced from 38.4% to 35.5%, wasting from 21.0% to 19.3% and underweight prevalence is down from 35.8% to 32.1%, according to the data.
          • Stunting is defined as low height-for-age.
          • Wasting is defined as low weight-for-height.
      • Women (15-49 years) whose BMI is below normal has reduced from 22.9% in NFHS-4 to 18.7% in NFHS-5.