To study the nutritional status data indicators available in the NFHS surveys in IndiaTo analyze the emerging trends and corelations between nutritional indicators and socio economic and geographical factors
Analysis of the NFHS 1,2,3 data and the limited data as yet available from NFHS 4
Although nutritional status of adults of both sexes was better in the urban areas than in the rural( lower BMIs below normal in the urban areas), obesity rates were also higher in the urban areas, progressively increasing with increased educational status. The under three stunting, wasting and underweight indicators were lower in the urban areas, but the average national indicators continue to be at times, higher than for Sub Saharan Africa. Anaemia rates among women are double than that of men overall, are at a high of 78.3% among children under three, with the urban prevalence being lower than the rural for all.Breastfeeding initiation rates, though showing an increasing trend, continue to remain low ( 9.5% NFHS 1,16%NFHS 2, 23.4%NFHS 3), only 24.9% of children under three received Vitamin A in the preceding 6 months (NFHS 3) with not much variation between the urban (26.8%)and rural areas(24.2%).Urban areas and progressively higher educational attainment levels among mothers were associated with an inverse relationship with prevalence of malnutrition, anaemia, and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and a positive correlation with Vitamin A supplementation, early initiation of breastfeeding, weaning.But the same factors were associated with a direct corelation with obesity and lower exclusive breastfeeding rates.This points to a need for a concerted IEC, and a push for female literacy and womens empowerment.
India urgently needs to accelerate food availability,accessibility,affordability and quality while simultaneously enhancing female educational attainment and womens empowerment.Universalization of health care with a focus pn primary, preventive care would be an added requirement.