Image credit: Canva


Nutrition is central to the achievement of other National and Global Sustainable Development Goals. Food has a direct relation to maternal and child health. Poor nutrition among children is directly related to inadequate or unbalanced diet, leading to chronic illness (The Burden of Disease in India, WHO, 2005). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines food deprivation, or undernourishment, as consuming too few calories to provide the minimum dietary energy. It is said that each individual requires living a healthy and productive life, given that person's sex, age, stature, and physical activity level. The calculated average minimum energy requirement to live healthily is estimated as 1,650 kilocalories per person per day for developing countries like India in 2016 (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2017).

The Global Hunger Index (GHI) is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger globally and by country and region. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) calculates GHI scores each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger. The Global Hunger Index (GHI) report says India ranks 103 out of 119 qualifying countries. With a score of 31.1, India suffers from a deep hunger level (Wiesmann, D. et al. 2006).

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 2.2 to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030. Malnutrition represents "stunting" as a measure of chronic undernutrition; "wasting" indicates acute undernutrition, and "underweight" is a composite of these two conditions. Looking at the nutritional status of children is measured by the height and weight of all children under the age of five. Accordingly, three standard indices of physical growth that describes the nutritional status of children are height-for-age (stunting), weight-for-height (wasting) and weight-for-age (underweight). The Global Nutrition Report reveals the worsening condition of children wasted across India, as shown in (Table 1.) below (Global Nutrition Report, 2018).

Read More