Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
To provide robust data on the shifting conditions of both undernutrition and overweight and obesity, the Ministry of Health conducted the Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) to collect a comprehensive set of data on the nutritional status of Indian children from 0–19 years of age. This survey was the largest micronutrient survey ever implemented globally. Also, the survey used gold standard methods to assess anaemia, micronutrient deficiencies and biomarkers of NCDs for the first time in India.
The aim was to estimate the prevalence of malnutrition among children and adolescents and to identify key factors associated with the nutrition transition in India by using robust tools and gold standard methods to reorient national programme and policy.
The main objective of the CNNS was to collect nationally representative data on the nutritional status of pre-schoolers (0–4 years), school-age children (5–9 years) and adolescents (10–19 years) through interviews, a comprehensive set of anthropometric measures and biochemical indicators
The specific objectives of the CNNS were:
- To assess the extent and severity of micronutrient deficiencies among children and adolescents
- To assess risk factors for non-communicable diseases among school-age children and adolescents
- To estimate the prevalence of dual burden of malnutrition in children and adolescents using a comprehensive set of established anthropometric measures
Key highlights of the report
- The CNNS was conducted in all 30 states of India using a multi-stage survey design covering rural and urban households.
- The survey collected data from three target population groups: pre-schoolers (0–4 years), school-age children (5–9 years) and adolescents (10–19 years).
Information collected in the CNNS by age group, India, CNNS 2016–18
Specific nutritional biochemical indicators and inflammatory markers evaluated in the three age groups, India, CNNS 2016–18
- Only 6.4% of Indian children aged less than two years get a “minimum acceptable diet”.
- A higher proportion of children (12-15 months) residing in rural areas are breastfed (85%) compared to children in urban areas (76%).
- Breastfeeding is inversely proportional to household wealth.
- Under the age of 5, 35% of children are stunted (low height for age), 11% were acutely malnourished, 17% are wasted (low weight for height), 33% underweight (low weight for age) and 2% are overweight or obese.
- In the 5-9 year age group, 22% are stunted, 10% underweight and 4% overweight or obese.
- Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have a high (37- 42% ) stunting prevalence.
- Nearly 10% of children in the age group of 5-9 years and adolescents in the age group of 10-19 years are pre-diabetic, 5% are overweight and another 5% suffer from blood pressure.
- Children and adolescents residing in urban areas have a higher (40.6%) prevalence of iron deficiency compared to their rural counterparts (29%) due to a better performance of the government’s health programmes in rural areas.
Partnership for CNNS implementation